5 Reasons Why Your Hospital Needs a Mobile AppThe ever-evolving mobile app technology has so far had a profound impact on human life. What started with the revolutionary Snake game on the archaic Nokia 6110 is now a vast ocean of software applications. Today, it is difficult to think of a day-to-day activity that has not been influenced, be it directly or indirectly, by a mobile app.
For the healthcare business, mobile applications present more efficient modes of communication, data management, and service delivery. While earlier apps were limited to booking consultations, new technologies like Big Data analytics, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things are increasingly making healthcare apps more dynamic and useful. It is, therefore, no surprise that the global mobile healthcare solutions market is expected to have surpassed the $58 million valuation mark by the end of 2020.
If you are yet to leverage the numerous opportunities that smartphone technology brings to the healthcare table, now is the time. Read on for some valuable information about mobile health and how it can take your hospital to the next level.
The Current State of Mobile HealthThe popularity of smartphone devices has triggered the health industry to rethink its approach to the market. According to a survey conducted by ITOnline, two-thirds of Americans prefer digital health solutions over traditional models. Moreover, 79 percent of the participants expressed a strong interest in wearable devices that track and manage parameters like heart rate and calories. The IMS Institute of Healthcare estimates that Android and iOS have more than 165,000 mobile health care applications in their respective app stores, and even more interestingly, physicians are increasingly prescribing these apps to their patients.
That said, the vast pool of mHealth apps is teeming with offerings that are barely living up to expectations. Users are flooding app review sections with complaints about buggy navigation, confusing layouts and other downsides that significantly undermine the experience. Despite a large number of available apps, therefore, quality mHealth solutions are still in high demand.
What can a mobile application do for your hospital?In today’s overly mobile world, a great app can reflect well on your hospital brand and give you a tremendous advantage over your competitors. Here are five good reasons why you need a mobile app today.
1. Easy Healthcare Access for PatientsFinding the right medical services in the world’s bustling cities is no walk in the park. Although practitioners have made it somewhat easier for patients by putting up facilities near one another, patients usually go up several flights of stairs in huge medical campuses before they can get the care they seek. If you are wondering why you are not getting as many visits as you used to get a few years ago, it is probably because a competitor has set up shop on the floor below yours.
Mobile apps present a new way for practitioners to navigate the murky competitive waters of healthcare services. With a digital directory service, you can help patients locate you, a department within your hospital, or any of your staff members with ease and at their convenience. Clients can, therefore, reach you for the treatment they need when they need it, even if you are not their regular physician.
2. Convenient, Flexible Access to Medical Records and Educational MaterialsUntil recently, accessing patient data often meant making phone calls and sitting ducks while an exhausted records management staff combs through a large database to retrieve the needed file. With the right Electronic Medical Records (EMR) app, you can make files instantly accessible to doctors and patients whenever they need to, from any corner of the globe. A cloud-based EMR app can enable verified app users to make changes to records without requiring physical access to your servers, leaving your data management staff free to handle more complicated tasks.
Additionally, comprehensive EMR apps are bundled with tools that can boost collaboration among practitioners by allowing them to share information about ongoing treatment procedures and research remotely. Your staff can keep in touch with other practitioners in their field and get valuable insight from specialists around the world instantly.
Mobile apps can also help provide staff with educational materials on the go. Royal Devon and Exeter (RDE), for instance, leveraged the iBuildApp platform and created an app which specifically serves this function. The app is a medical resource for junior Doctors and Orthopaedic healthcare professionals working at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Department (RDE PEOC).
3. Automated SchedulingEveryone dislikes being kept in line, but for patients, the typical inconvenience of waiting often morphs into prolonged suffering. Sure, pre-arranged appointments have drastically reduced the number of people in waiting lobbies, but most hospitals still rely on direct phone calls or messages to update their patients on when their doctor visits are scheduled.
A scheduling mobile app can give your clients the power to keep tabs on their appointments so that they can find out precisely when their doctor will be available, book visits and make changes on the fly. With the right app, patients won’t need to come early to grab a spot on the queue. Your waiting room will, therefore, be more efficient, freeing up time for your reception staff, while steadily maintaining a happy, healthy clientele.
4. Streamlined BillingIt may have been a headache to chase patients for payment in the past, but now that everyone seemingly has an insurance cover, the process is becoming intolerable. Patients are taking longer to clear their bills, mostly because of the heftiness of the charges and the lengthy validation process of insurance companies.
Thankfully, mobile app developers in the healthcare scene have been working commendably to make the bill paying process easier for both patients and practitioners. Having a mHealth solution with a bill pay element means your patients can pay their bills with a quick, simple and secure two-step process. Your customized app can be the one-stop-shop for information about acceptable payment solutions so that patients can reach out to you, having figured out how to pay for your services. You can also create and share payment plans to your recurring clients and their insurance providers, and use automatic notifications to remind them of due bills.
5. Informed Business DecisionsSmartphones are the prime everyday device for the average human being today. For company executives, therefore, mobile apps can be valuable tools of research into the ever-changing wants and needs of their markets.
An app tailored for medical practitioners can collect varied types of data, from geolocation and competitor activity to a patient’s financial capability and willingness to seek medical services. Such information can help you to effectively narrow down options when making executive decisions like annual business goals, funds allocation, and insurance partners.
The Future of Mobile HealthThe hospital landscape is changing dramatically, largely due to the advent of new technology. It is expected that doctors and nurses will continue to incorporate mobile devices and wireless technology into healthcare all through 2020. By 2022, industry experts estimate that over 97% of all practitioners will be using a mobile device as their prime tool of choice to deliver service.
MHealth is already helping hospitals streamline communication with their clients, better manage records, avoid payment delays and make the right business decisions. So, the earlier you deploy a mobile healthcare app in your hospital, the better. Soon, it will be difficult to prove yourself among a sea of competitors offering appropriate, intuitive apps for their clients.