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How Hospitals Address Patient Experience via Mobile Apps

Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, July 7, 2011

Integrate mobile with other social media platforms

JHSMH is no stranger to social media: It already has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a YouTube channel. But it was looking for another way to have daily interaction with its community, so in April 2010 it launched its mobile application. “We figured that this is a great way to communicate with [members of the community] on an ongoing basis and give them the tools that they needed, specific to our community and healthcare system, at their fingertips,” says Mackovic.

It was also an opportunity to take all of the social media tools that JHSMH was already using and tie them together in a single location. “To have an effective mobile app, it has to be a one-stop shop and bring together the entire social media plan all under a central element,” she says. “The more you can integrate, the better.”

When designing its free mobile app, JHSMH didn’t want a general app package that any hospital could implement. “We thought about what the community needed and what makes our health system unique,” says Mackovic, adding that one of the health system’s selling points is that it has seven emergency departments (ED) in the region and more than 200 employed physicians.

“We wanted to make sure people could find that ED or physician who was closest to them that meets the criteria that they are looking for—gender, after hours, specialty,” she explains.

With JHSMH’s app, people can search for services within a mile of their home, and the health system recently updated the app to include ED wait times. In addition, the app features current health news—not just JHSMH news. “Subscribers can see a feed of interesting health news, which is what we use our Twitter account for,” Mackovic says. The JHSMH app also includes a food diary and calorie tracker to emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

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3 comments on "How Hospitals Address Patient Experience via Mobile Apps"


Matt Mattox (7/25/2012 at 2:15 PM)
The real question is why hospitals are waiting so long to offer an app. With millions of dollars in the balance based on patient satisfaction (read: Value-Based Purchasing), a mobile app is a no-brainer. And relative to the cost of most hospital technology, apps are reasonably priced. Here are 5 reasons hospitals should launch an app ASAP: http://goo.gl/n1BR4

Steve Wilkins (7/8/2011 at 5:30 PM)
Hospitals and other providers thinking about investing in the development of smartphone apps should keep the following fact in mind: "only 5 percent (of smartphone apps) are still used one month after downloading." For source citation: www.healthecommunications.wordpress.com Steve Wilkins

Kim Larabee (7/7/2011 at 2:34 PM)
The MHealth apps developed at Vertiglo keep a few things in mind related to the article above. > The application has to be super functional for young and old > The article mentions the increase in use. It's imperative that security and layers on encryption for the data collected is in place before roll-out > Focusing on the core services can't be overstated. At Vertiglo, we out into place a mechanism to make changes and revisions in realtime. This was evident with the Veterans app we are in beta testing. > The success should be customer centric Great job @Carrie_Vaughan Kim @vertiglo www.vertiglo.com