Prioritize Flexibility in Your Mobile Engagement Platform
A recent ebook looks at the top three considerations in designing the right mobile strategy for hospitals and systems. One of the top keys to success with mobile engagement is ensuring that there is plenty of flexibility in the platform. In healthcare, things change quickly, and no one wants to be locked into a solution that can't adapt.
The right digital platform will offer the flexibility to enable and manage mobile app features and functions quickly when circumstances change. This ensures health systems can proactively respond to shifts in demand for service and information. It also establishes health systems as a trusted resource in a rapidly evolving environment.
For example, just as Starbucks uses geofencing to push out time-sensitive offers and reduce customer wait times, in the past year, health systems have increasingly found value from targeted push notifications, from ZIP code-based notifications about vaccine availability to instructions on where and how to seek care. These notifications allow organizations to easily convey large-scale operational changes, such as when hospitals limit visitors to one per patient to maintain infection control.
Health systems also have found value in digital features that:
Use chatbots to triage covid symptoms coupled with wayfinding to provide directions to the correct screening or care location
Enable consumers to check urgent care wait times, reserve a place in line and walk in without a wait
Pair discharged patients and their families with live support when they have questions about next steps in care
Organizations that prioritize agility in digital offerings will be better positioned to meet consumers’ expectations and provide memorable experiences that keep patients coming back.
University Health’s mobile app was designed to anticipate consumers’ needs, which provided a strong foundation for patient engagement during the pandemic. This approach empowered the health system to become the go-to vaccine clinic in Bexar County, accelerating appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations and serving as a mobile companion for patients throughout their vaccination journey.
Within two weeks of the start of the pandemic, University Health equipped its mobile app with the capability to deliver real-time push notifications directly to consumers’ smartphones, provide immediate access to virtual triage, and offer real-time information on health system hours, protocols, and wait times. Residents also could access the county’s COVID-19 tracker through the app for an in-the-moment view of the county’s risk status.
“Agility in mobile app design proved instrumental to our pandemic response and our vaccine distribution strategy.” Selene Mejia, digital marketing manager for University Health
Today, more than 130,000 people have downloaded University Health’s digital app, and usage rose dramatically, from an average of 100 sessions a day to 10,000 sessions a day. “Having a fully featured mobile app in place proved instrumental to our pandemic response and our vaccine distribution strategy,” says Selene Mejia, digital marketing manager for University Health. “It enables University Health to establish a direct relational link with the community, advance vaccine administration in our region, and target vulnerable and underserved populations.”
By designing a mobile strategy that adjusts to customers’ needs to amplify convenience and engagement, healthcare organizations can meet consumers where they are to connect beyond the point of care. It’s a modern approach that deepens connections with consumers while strengthening an organization’s bottom line.