In December 2019, UNC Health launched its consumer-facing mobile app to conveniently provide the UNC Health Care experience to patients and families via their smartphones. The UNC Health app, from Gozio Health, provides quick access to MyChart, physician directories, urgent care wait times, and online appointments along with with blue-dot navigation of the hospital campus.
In August 2021, UNC Health expanded their app experience by adding the “Immediate Care Near You Map” which, in addition to wait times, also shows the urgent care and emergency departments closest to the user’s current location. In the first few months after launching its mobile app. UNC reached 10,000 instals and over 60,000 sessions. Since then, the growth has been exponential, reaching over 160.000 downloads.
WELL and Gozio collaborate to deliver on UNC Health’s customization needs
The health system wanted to augment its app to provide patients with enhanced wayfinding and appointment reminder features, so they approached Gozio and WELL Health®. The UNC Health team had worked with both companies before and was confident they were the perfect partners to execute their vision. By integrating these two technologies together, UNC Health created a more seamless experience for their patients. Due to its API and integration capabilities, WELL was able to create a smart phrase that was stored in Gozio's hyperlink to pull in unique appointment information. The hyperlink was inserted into every WELL-generated appointment reminder to allow patients to download the UNC Health app if it wasn’t already on their phones and access wayfinding directly to their appointment location. In the first week of the link going live, there were 4500 clicks on the link.
“From an end-user perspective, we focused on creating a frictionless UNC Health experience and that's where I think this is really unique,” said Dan Dodson, System Director, Digital Health and Innovation at UNC Health.
“From an end-user perspective, we focused on creating a frictionless UNC Health experience and that's where I think this is really unique.”
Dan Dodson, System Director, Digital Health and Innovation at UNC Health
New features provide easy access to appointment information
The first feature, “Smart Links for Appointment Reminders” allows a patient to click a smart link to download the UNC Health app when they confirm their appointment from a text reminder. The smart link also drives the user to the correct app store based on whether they are Android or iPhone users. To further enhance the user experience, when the patient clicks on the smart link, the UNC Health mobile app will automatically open to their appointment location providing them quick information on the clinic and the ability to get detailed driving instructions using their preferred mapping application.
The other feature, “Save and Go from the Mobile Calendar” enables patients to save the appointment to their mobile phone calendar with an embedded link. When patients click on the link, the app opens and automatically brings them to the appropriate location page within the UNC Health app providing wayfinding directions—both outdoor and indoor—from the patient’s current location to their appointment location, in addition to the appointment time and clinic name.
New appointment reminder cadence leads to better patient experience
In a continued effort to enhance the patient experience, UNC Health wanted to use this new functionality to adapt to patient's habits and preferences, so they implemented a new appointment reminder cadence. Across the health system, patients now receive a seven-day, three-day and one-day appointment reminder for upcoming appointments, updated from only a three-day reminder. After realizing that directions and wayfinding solutions may not always be appropriate seven days prior to their actual appointment, the option to add the appointment to a personal mobile calendar using the “Save and Go from the Mobile Calendar” feature created an improved patient experience. Now when it's the day before their appointment and patients receive the one-day reminder, patients can just as easily open their calendar or click on the link and get the details and directions they need for their appointment.
Mobile app downloads dramatically increase with new features
The integration between Gozio and WELL helped to further UNC Health’s mission to improve patient engagement by increasing UNC Health app downloads by 443%. After the new appointment reminder messaging cadence was implemented, it became the predominant marketing vehicle for the app. UNC Health found that once patients started using the smart link to download the app, they also discovered all the other features they could access such as the Find-a-Doctor provider directory or MyChart, and overall, patient engagement increased. Dodson said, “I can put up billboards or do banner ads but when you as a patient get an appointment reminder and it's a call to action that's relevant, people will click because there's value there. The smart link is more effective than any external advertising for getting patients to download the app.”