Needless to say that the mobile revolution is now dominating every industry, especially the use of mobile applications. So, it is not surprising if it has taken over the medical industry as well. Yes, nowadays, Healthcare mobile apps are boon to all as they are making their mark on the way by delivering care at any time and from anywhere.
As we all know, until a few years back, the hospital was an uncomfortable and intimidating place for patients. Because at times, it was difficult to consult doctors or know medication options. However, it can be seen that the scenario is changing now. And, the reason is digital solutions.
Since the healthcare industry has started focusing on digital solutions, it not only improved the patients’ medication adherence and outcome rates but also transformed the patient experience. Hence, to meet the expectations of digital-savvy patients and improve the patient experience, Healthcare practitioners are looking for innovative ways and strategies.
According to McKinsey, an American worldwide management consulting firm, the time has come for healthcare facilities to extend and enhance their digital strategies. Similarly, as per the report by Vocera, the experience of patients is now one of the top-ranked priorities for healthcare providers.
Also, a study by Accenture showed that around 82 percent of medical practitioners consider patient experience as key, and engagement is the reason behind the growth and profit margins.
Role of Mobile Apps in Improving Patient Experience
Mobile healthcare app offers one of the most under-utilized features that is interaction and communication. It enables communication between doctors and patients and that too with great speed.
Similarly, in-app feedback, push notifications, and SMS are enabling excellent two-way communication platforms for doctors to communicate with their patients.
Apart from emergency issues, digital solution in Healthcare facilities can spread out notifications about upcoming healthcare camps, upcoming appointments, and also information of discounts to the patients to increase volume during off-peak hours.
10 Ways Mobile Healthcare Apps Can Improve Patient Experience
In simple words, by connecting patients with staff, Healthcare facilities are easily enhancing the patient experience. These facilities are not only helping patients get quicker responses but also reducing downtime (time during setup for an operation).
Apart from the communication part, in-app feedback feature of applications are helping doctors or healthcare staff to improve what patients are looking for in the app. Also, it is helping to incorporate patient feedback into the new-and-improved digital experience. And, the more hospitals address the feedback, the more their receptiveness and commitment to its target customers are shown.
Well, this is not all. There are many more ways in which mobile apps are helping to improve patient engagement and experience with doctors and staff. Let’s know them one by one:
1. Mobile Apps Offer Transparency
Mobile apps can guide a patient through every step of the patient journey, whether it is from the waiting room or about the checkout. Also, these apps are helping staff to make the room available for patients even before entering. And, this facility can have a tremendous impact on patient experience and satisfaction, especially for urgent-care centers.
According to several patient satisfaction studies, it is shown that experiencing long wait times were a big contributor to patient dissatisfaction. These studies have also found that patients always requested their respective doctors to keep them informed about wait times. So, this is where mobile apps can benefit patients as well as the doctors the most.
Apart from all, these apps may also enable patients to decide which healthcare facility has the shortest estimated wait time, or which one is closest to them, especially in the event of an emergency.
2. Enhance Patients’ Engagement
There are times when it is not possible to reach hospitals to access doctors. So, the primary motto of most medical apps is to reach doctors even without moving yourself from the comfort of your house. Not only in an emergency but also for routine check-ups, the complexity of a medical appointment often discourages patients from visiting the doctors; hence, medical apps lessen this complexity.
And, that's not it. Apart from providing better medical information, Healthcare mobile apps also remind the patient about their upcoming appointment. Not only about appointments, but these apps also track the time and frequency at which the patient needs to take medicines and remind accordingly.
In this way, the apps offer enhanced patients’ engagement and help the patients to take control over the medical decisions and thus improve the overall patient experience through personalized communication.
The two most important things come under this feature are Mobile Imaging and ePrescriptions.
Many diseases are there for which doctors need to see situations rather than rely on symptoms only. Therefore, the facility for uploading pictures is very important in the apps for proper analysis and assessment.
For example, a mother sending a picture of her child’s rash to their pediatrician to make sure that is normal or if she should be concerned.
Also, a good mobile phone app will not only let you take a picture of a patient’s body but will also upload the image into the EHR and attach it to the patient’s timeline as an e-document. So, you accelerate care delivery and have better access to details about patients with features like this.
According to several surveys going on, healthcare providers care at most about delivering a high quality of patient care. And, for that, a good mobile app allowing doctors to quickly and easily prescribe medications as soft copy from any place with digital assistance.
This feature of providing e-prescription from your phone adds convenience. More importantly, this shows that without these apps, it would be impossible to deliver optimized quality care.
3. Health Apps are a Blessing in Far Remote Areas
As we all know, this is strictly a digital era of internet and smartphones. And this is one way to reach every nook and corner, people living in rural or far-flung areas. They can also expect to get the best health services with the help of these applications.
These on-demand apps help such people to book an appointment with doctors in advance and also help to buy medicines online even without having to travel to the hospitals at such distances.
In addition to that, people can also get some important information about healthcare, health tips, and that too, from time to time via push notifications.
4. Lessen the Risks of the Faulty Diagnosis
There is an ample number of cases we have seen where the patients had to even risk their lives due to an error in the diagnostic approach, especially during the earlier days. But now, the expansion of healthcare apps have minimized all such possibilities that were life-threatening earlier.
Yes, it is possible because now the doctors receive an accurate report of the patient’s health condition with the apps. And, therefore, they prescribe the most accurate medicine with the right dosage and chemical compositions. The vast features of the apps even allow storing the patient’s notes with cloud facilities.
Even these apps are helping medical staff in keeping a record of the patients more precisely and also enter the essential data without making mistakes.
5. Reduction in Medical Expenses and Bills
The hospitals charge a fee at their will; hence, skyrocketing bills and large medicinal expenses have always been a headache for people. Therefore, it is one of the major advantages of healthcare apps.
Yes, the usage of these apps reduces medical bills and expenses. But how? Well, the answer is, with the help of these apps, you can always choose the hospital according to your budget.
Also, such apps help to ease the burden off your pocket as some of the tasks can be done through the app only.
6. Help to Self Monitor One’s Health
This could be one best advantage because many times, we try to help ourselves. And, the healthcare apps allow us to do the same. These apps have such rich features that enable the patients or people to monitor their health by their own
It is possible to monitor the important health initials like measuring the blood sugar level, cholesterol level, weight, heartbeat rate, blood pressure, etc. to take well-timed action if they decrease or increase.
7. Facilitated with Easy Payment of Bills
It could be seen that before the advent of healthcare apps, paying for the medical expenses wasn’t that simple. The apps are facilitated with a highly secured payment gateway integration, allowing users to pay the amount promptly without even standing in a queue to pay the bill.
Well, that’s not it. One can also choose a payment plan, and then pay the bills timely and accordingly. Also, you receive a notification as a reminder to do the necessary, in case, you overlook to make the payment.
Besides the mobile wallet app, there are many other payment options available, like paying through credit or debit card or using internet banking.
8. Bridge the Emotional Gap
For any patient, it is very important to trust their doctor. Well, it is only possible if they have proper connectivity. And, these intelligently-built healthcare mobile apps enable the same.
Yes, they are helping in bridging the emotional gap between patient and staff. Due to such connectivity, patients are feeling more connected and empowered to take responsibility for their healthcare decisions.
Hence, without investing extra time or effort, healthcare providers can enhance the way the overall wellness of patients is handled by using mobile apps. Moreover, healthcare goal-setting and monitoring will give patients plenty of chances to pat themselves on the back for considerable improvement.
9. Lower the Medicare Fraud
It is seen nowadays that Medicare is full of fraud for the sake of money. However, digital interactions are reducing the fraud as they increase patient access to care.
Hence, we can say that the decline in fraud is one most impactful consequence of digitalization in the health sector. It is happening because digital apps have an amazing ability to track people and transactions from anywhere.
Because of the increased patient access to healthcare, Medicare is concerned about the potential for an explosion of costs from digital interactions.
According to the stats, about 60% of fraud can be reduced by the use of medical applications, and its usage may also increase profit to healthcare centers.
And, the feature of tracking people and transactions in an effective time is one reason. To check for fraud, Medicare can also acquire location and time data from these digital health apps.
10. Healthcare Apps Give Rise to New Business Models and Opportunities
This fact shows that healthcare apps not only focus on patients and doctors but also provide new business opportunities and models. The medical staffs are nowadays using apps for making referrals rather than outdated practices.
Moreover, the scope of the healthcare industry has become much diversified and is also expanding by leaps and bounds. Various purposes like reducing weight, women’s pregnancy and health care, elderly healthcare, infant care, etc. are already being achieved by healthcare apps. And, these several ideas create new vibrant opportunities in the process.
Future Trends in Healthcare Mobile Devices and Apps
Every day healthcare apps are evolving. And, there are many predictions about future trends in the use of such apps and devices. Also, these applications are upgrading to achieve the ultimate goal of the healthcare system, i.e., prevention and management of chronic health conditions, like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
It is predicted that applications will soon as well as successfully address complex issues like patient care management and compliance. Moreover, an application is an important asset only when it enables excellent communication among patients, physicians, and other resources.
And by keeping all that in mind, many healthcare app developers are building remarkable applications that consider future needs.
Tip: Make sure to include larger databases and clinical decision support prompts, that help in clinical decision making if you are planning to develop mobile apps for healthcare.
Well, we have seen how the use of mobile apps in healthcare could improve patient experience, making physician-patient communication more convenient, especially when it comes to accessing health information, improving short-term outcomes, and ensuring transparency in medical charge.
All of these advantages of apps may contribute to positive health outcomes. So to improve the patient experience, we should encourage the adoption of mobile health apps in the healthcare industry.