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How Hospitals Address Patient Experience via Mobile Apps

Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, July 7, 2011

“It is really helpful to our family medicine physicians and pediatricians for their patients to have access to information, so I guess you could say that they were one of the biggest drivers for getting this information available,” says Tizon.

The app helps subscribers get quick advice about what may be ailing their child, and includes an anatomic index of topics, a pediatric drug dosage table, and infection exposure questions, as well as information on how to take a temperature and advice on when to call a doctor.

Swedish is promoting its Symptom Checker app through social media and with the help of its family medicine physicians and pediatricians, who are informing their patients about it. The health system plans to track the app’s return on investment by measuring its number of downloads and by tracking how many people heard about Swedish’s services through the app.

Making your mobile strategy a success

One of the key lessons JHSMH learned when developing its app was not to spend too much time on the front end trying to make it perfect. “We knew that we weren’t going to get it perfect the first time with version 1.0. It was not going to be the end-all app,” says Mackovic. “So we got it out there. People loved it, but they gave a lot of feedback.”

For example, subscribers wanted to search for available physicians and hospitals by mile radius, not ZIP code. Also, the initial version of the food diary had users search by food group, but users indicated that, for example, they would rather type in “hamburger” and have any food group that was in a hamburger pop up, she explains.

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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