athenahealth and the American Council of the Blind Collaborate to Expand Digital Accessibility for athenahealth Patients

Designing patient-facing athenahealth applications to meet global industry accessibility standards

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of network-enabled software and services for medical groups and health systems nationwide, is collaborating with the American Council of the Blind to design and build more inclusive and accessible experiences for blind and visually impaired patients as part of the company’s broader digital accessibility commitments. The collaboration expands athenahealth’s approach to accessibility around its patient-facing applications to be more inclusive for millions of patients.


“There are already too many barriers for people trying to access care in the United States – especially for those who are visually impaired,” said Claire Stanley, director of advocacy and government affairs at the American Council of the Blind. “Technology can help reduce those barriers, empowering individuals to better communicate with their providers, and manage their own care. We’re excited to be working with athenahealth as they continue to make their patient experiences more digitally accessible and inclusive.”

Since partnering with the American Council of the Blind to increase the company’s understanding of the specific healthcare needs and experiences of individuals with visual impairments, athenahealth has evolved its approach to accessibility for these patients. Among the updates it has made to its accessibility strategy:

Formalizing goals and measures of success to pursue conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA, a set of internationally recognized guidelines that provides a framework and set of recommendations for making web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Building a program around real-world usability testing and ongoing patient feedback, including engaging directly with individuals who use assistive technology in their own lives to test its product. Additionally, to ensure continuous improvements, athenahealth has a feedback channel for patients to report if they encounter accessibility barriers while using its patient-facing applications.

Bolstering patient accessibility training and feedback across the product development lifecycle not just through testing, but also in ongoing employee training, design reviews, formal conformance testing, and more.

“At athenahealth, our vision is to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare for all. That means ensuring our digital experiences work for all patients, regardless of ability,” said Paul Brient, chief product officer at athenahealth. “athenahealth is committed to enhancing its patient-facing applications by collaborating with organizations that offer expertise, and lived experience is an essential part of that work, which is why working with the American Council of the Blind has been so valuable.”

About the American Council of the Blind

American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and low vision Americans throughout the country, with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates. ACB is dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Its members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. More information about ACB can be found by visiting the ACB website.

About athenahealth, Inc.

athenahealth creates innovative healthcare technology that connects clinicians, patients, payers, and partners in differentiated ways. Our electronic health record, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement solutions allow anytime, anywhere access, driving better financial outcomes for our customers and enabling our provider customers to deliver better quality care. In everything we do, we’re inspired by our vision to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare for all. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com.

Contacts

Nikki D’Addario

[email protected]

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