Hospital Apps Must Be Problem Solvers
"We are about 65–70 % Medicare/Medicaid. I wasn't expecting everyone on Medicare to carry the iPhone, but I thought their children might. So we developed the app for a female, aged 30–50."
As a person who is a spouse, mother, and former caretaker (my grandfather passed away late last year), I know that when I want a new doctor, I employ several sources, such as word of mouth referrals, online ratings, and network coverage. So, the availability of an app may figure into my decision about which doctor to choose, but maybe not.
However, when I need a solution to a specific problem, like letting my grandmother know that my grandfather's doctor changed dosages on one of his prescriptions, I do what works quickest, hence the Post-It note solution. Had the hospital he frequented offered some sort of app, it's likely we would have used it.
Another issue that was solved for Southcoast was getting patients used to technology without creating privacy issues. "SouthCoast has no access to the data," says Rattray. "The patient puts their information in, and it is stored in their phone. There is no privacy issue at all."
Apps now do not have the novelty they once did, but with smartphones seen as a must-have instead of a nice-to-have, a well-designed app that helps patients solve a specific problem may be the first step toward having them think of a hospital or health system as a partner instead of a place.
Jacqueline Fellows is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.
- Antibiotic Overuse a 'Huge Threat' to Patient Safety, Says CDC
- 3 Traits Personality Assessments Can't Reveal
- Consumerism Drives Healthcare Branding, Rebranding Efforts
- CHS Hacked, 4.5M Patient Records Compromised
- PA Ranks See 'Phenomenal Growth,' Lack of Diversity
- Business Roundup: M&A Activity Down Slightly in First Half of 2014
- CFO Exchange: Healthcare Leaders Share 5 Innovative Ideas
- CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol
- Large Employers Trimming Healthcare Spending
- 3 Things the Ice Bucket Challenge Can Teach Hospital Marketers