One of the most important factors in producing an excellent patient experience is a focus on good communication with the patient. Failing to communicate with the patient results in missed appointments, forgotten medications, and readmissions. 79% of hospital visitors have an iPhone or Android device that can run an App. So your hospital needs an App.
The app is designed to make a few tasks more efficient, it is not designed to replace the website, nor should it have all of the websites functionality. The app does just what is necessary to be simple and convenient.
One of the best examples of an App being simple & convenient would be the banking apps. These Apps allow you to snap a photo of a check with your phone and instantly deposit the check into your account by scanning your fingerprint. The ability to electronically scan and deposit checks has existed for some time; however, the process was cumbersome and required working with a computer while navigating the bank’s website. The power of the App doesn’t come from the ability to do everything, but from doing a few things very well.
One of the most requested functions of a hospital App is scheduling appointments. I currently schedule my appointments by calling the hospital and providing my information to a hospital employee. The employee enters the information into a computer and we haggle over the best time to schedule an appointment. An App would allow me to see my doctors’ availability and simply request a ‘meeting’ to schedule our appointment. The employee would then ‘confirm’ the appointment and the app could send me a reminder of my appointment and even driving directions.
Another most requested feature of a hospital App is navigation. The LogicJunction App begins by providing driving directions to the best parking location based on your destination. After you have parked, the walking directions indicate the streets to cross, the building to enter, and provides step by step navigation thru the hallways and elevators of the hospital. One of the ways we make this App more accessible is by adding a scannable QR code to the hallways signs. Scanning this App automatically loads the correct URL and sets your current location, so you just select a destination and start walking.
The management of prescription drugs is another App that is in high demand. This application is designed to empower the patient to manage their prescription drugs usage. This should help them to take better control of their health as non-compliance is one of the major factors in readmissions. This application begins by allowing patients to refill prescriptions using the app and get notifications when the prescription is available. The patients’ instructions are uploaded to the App, providing reminders for when to take each prescription, its possible side effects, as well as other information such as if it should be taken on an empty stomach.
The key to a great app focusing on what makes life easier, not more complicated. These apps are not designed to replace people, they are designed to make them more efficient.