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AHA

The Wayfinding Solution from Gozio has earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association.

A mobile app designed with feature-rich content creates a personalized patient experience, allowing technology to meet patient and organizational needs and make a significant impact on a hospital’s bottom line.

Introduction

A hospital mobile strategy has become a necessity to meet patient and organizational needs and to differentiate a healthcare system. The healthcare environment is very competitive, and with the increasing consumer focus, hospitals must engage their patients using smartphones. Patients have a choice and are making demands for mobile engagement that need to be met to positively impact a hospital’s bottom line.

A recent Red Hat mHealth survey cited the main drivers of implementing a healthcare system’s mobile strategy as:

internal demand for more productivity

demand for better patient engagement and care

patient demand for mobile apps¹

With 93 percent of healthcare professionals believing that a hospital-branded mobile app can improve patient experience, there is a strong resonance within the healthcare community that mobile platforms can deliver ongoing patient engagement opportunities that benefit internal productivity and the hospital’s bottom line. ²

of healthcare professionals believe that a hospital-branded mobile app can improve patient experience.

A 2016 Deloitte study revealed that patient experience is a critical litmus test for a hospital’s bottom
line. Hospitals with better patient-reported experience scores have higher profitability. ³ Excellence in patient experience is also directly linked to increased revenue through the Hospital Consumer Assessment
of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores. Hospitals that provide superior patient experience
generate 50% higher financial performance. ⁴

Today’s healthcare systems must have a mobile strategy in place that prioritizes patient experience. To maximize the return on investment (ROI) of a mobile platform’s implementation, three patient engagement opportunities must be analyzed:

 

  • Agile development
  • Adoption
  • Sustained engagement

Agile Development

A mobile app must be developed using a custom platform to align with the overall organizational strategy
and include features that meet or exceed patients’ needs. Off-the-shelf mobile technology does not allow
hospitals to adequately address their specific pain points and often creates a one or two function app that is merely an extension of the website. Improved ROI, as Red Hat cites, “may not be achieved by developing mobile apps as one-off projects. Rather, a modern platform-based approach that supports agile development and modern API-based architecture can help increase developer efficiency, reduce development costs, and support the increasing demand for mobile apps.” ⁵

A platform-based approach to mobile allows for agile development that remains flexible, evolves with hospitals’ needs and allows for quick improvements in response to real-time user feedback. For example, a platform with dynamic interactive wayfinding allows the hospital to make real-time changes so patients
can find their way to their destination on time, even if there has been a location change.

A platform-based app with rich feature content also allows hospitals to provide patients with compelling
reasons to download and keep the app. By syncing organizational challenges with expressed patient needs, one hospital-branded mobile app can become a reliable resource for patients and a streamlined channel for hospitals to maintain ongoing, consistent patient engagement and improve their overall experience.

Many hospitals have multiple single-function apps that can confuse patients on where they need to go
for information. To be successful, it is critical that there is “one app to rule them all.” There are many ways to achieve this now with new technology, but it is not something that can be done off the shelf in the Apple and Google stores.

Once an app is developed and placed in patients’ hands, it is important to access data on each feature’s usefulness to demonstrate a positive ROI. A platform-based app must have analytics that allow for consistent review of user experience and feedback to ensure it is meeting patients’ needs and addressing
the correct pain points to demonstrate ROI.

Adoption

Adoption by patients and staff is critical and must be based on meeting expressed users’ needs. Mobile apps that are associated with the highest adoption rates are those that include dynamic indoor wayfinding. This is a direct reflection of the difficulty patients have navigating through complex hospital facilities. It is no surprise, since 9 in 10 people rely on smartphones for location-based information and navigation. ⁶

people rely on smartphones for location-based information and navigation.

The promise of not getting lost is powerful motivation for visitors who might be intimidated navigating a large hospital facility. Mobile wayfinding addresses a significant organizational challenge. Providing smartphone-based navigation to patients and visitors presents an opportunity for increased initial adoption of a healthcare system’s mobile platform. Healthcare systems that value aligning their mobile strategy to exceed users’ expectations and improve patient experience are choosing mobile wayfinding that includes interactive indoor navigation – creating a door-to-door experience from their home, to the right parking garage and on into their destination. Patients are arriving at their appointment on time and with less stress.

Data shows hospital mobile apps that provide indoor wayfinding are adopted at dramatically higher rates,
due to their inherent value to patients, visitors and staff. With a $150 billion loss linked to missed or late appointments, mobile wayfinding that includes indoor navigation represents a user need that has a significant impact on hospitals’ bottom line. ⁷

 

Sustained Engagement

For patients and guests to stay active and engaged with a hospital’s mobile platform, the user experience must be a memorable and personal one. A personalized app experience can improve the comfort and convenience of visitors and reflect positively on patient engagement. When features in addition to wayfinding meet definitive user needs, it is more likely that patients will adopt the hospital app for navigation, and then return to the app.

Examples of popular useful features include:

Physician directories, with navigation to their locations

Easy access to available hospital services and amenities, with navigation to their locations

Appointment changes or scheduling

Access to medical records

Real-time urgent care or emergency department wait times

Save my Spot appointment scheduling at urgent care clinics to alleviate time spent in the waiting room

Transportation options

Local pharmacy options

Virtual visits

When a user-driven, feature-rich mobile application that includes indoor wayfinding is implemented, the
analytics reveal that 76 percent of individuals who download a custom hospital-branded app return to re-engage with the app.

It is the expressed user need of wayfinding that hooks users to adopt the app, but it is the feature-rich content that maintains engagement.

For re-engagement of the app, the analytics indicate:

of hospital-branded app users return to the app to review urgent care wait times and the Save my Spot feature.

of users return to look up hospital amenities.

of users return to search physician directories.

of users access their medical records, having a significant impact on Meaningful Use.

These statistics are based on adult, university and children’s hospital systems, each requiring a unique set of needs outside of wayfinding.

Conclusion

Patient experience has a direct correlation to the success of a healthcare system’s mobile strategy
implementation and resulting ROI.

Hospitals that respond to an expressed need such as wayfinding provide a compelling reason for patients and guests to adopt the app. A personalized experience with navigation and feature-rich content supports patients at different points of their healthcare journey, increasing the likelihood of continued engagement of the platform. Agile development allows a healthcare system to develop one dynamic platform that is responsive to current and future needs of the hospital and real-time user feedback. Agile development, adoption, and sustained engagement of a unique platform-based mobile app must work in concert with a patient’s personalized experience to maximize the ROI.

 

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1. https://www.redhat.com/en/about/blog/red-hat-mhealth-survey-showsstrong-roi-and-anticipated-growth-despite-budget-headwinds
2. mHealth, April 22, 2015 – eclinical survey
3. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/hospitals-patient-experience.html
4. https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/us-hospitals-that-provide-superior-patient-experience-generate-50-percent-higher-financial-performance-than-average-providers-accenture-finds.htm
5. https://www.redhat.com/en/about/blog/red-hat-mhealth-survey-showsstrong-roi-and-anticipated-growth-despite-budget-headwinds
6. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/01/29/us-smartphone-use/
7. http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/blog/insight-