Are you looking to develop a mobile app for your hospital or health system or a mobile application developer looking to build a great app for a hospital client? Building a hospital app that patients love and will continue to use can be successfully done if you approach the app-building process the right way.
The hospital apps that currently exist tend to fall into three categories: marketing tools, internal tools (not for patients) and interactive. People don’t download hospital apps so they can get your marketing information (if they do, they probably won’t keep the app for long). According to a 2011 study by CPM Marketing Group, patients are looking for interactive hospital apps that offer solutions. Your app can still be an extension of the hospital’s brand but it should function more as a customer service tool.
Here are a few tips to help you create the next, great hospital mobile app.
1. Do your research. Ask your patients or potential future patients what they would like to see in a mobile app. Create a quick online survey available on your website or include a printed survey in your community newsletter.
2. Identify your solutions. What questions or problems does a patient have that you could help solve with an app? Here are a few solutions that have been incorporated into other great hospital apps:
- ER Wait Times
- Clinic Wait Time
- Closest Facility
- Facility Locator
- Maps and Directions
- Schedule an Appointment
- Appointment Reminders
- Medication Reminders
- Physician Finder
- Contact a Practitioner (email, phone or text)
- News and Event Alerts
- Imaging and Lab Results
- Secure Location for Your Information (emergency contacts, medication, insurance, providers, allergies, etc.)
3. Be unique. Your hospital app should offer at least one thing that your main website does not offer. If your app can offer solutions that other hospital apps in your service area don’t provide, even better.
4. Consider being service line specific. You might want to consider developing one main hospital app and other apps that are specific to individual service lines. For example, if you have a fantastic diabetes management program, you could create an app exclusively dedicated to diabetes. If you want to focus attention on your pediatrics program consider an exclusive pediatrics app and include fast access to information on how to treat common childhood ailments, pre-office visit (poison ivy, dog bite, pink eye, mosquito bite, chicken pox, etc.) and a one-click link to the nearest poison control center.
5. Make it easy to use. If your app has too many hoops to jump through, people won’t continue using it. Try to keep clicks to a minimum whenever possible.
6. Go easy on health information. According to the same CPM Marketing Group study, health information ranked a distant third on survey respondents list of desires for a hospital mobile app. There are thousands of websites (including your hospital’s website) that are great places to research health conditions, and people prefer to use a laptop or tablet for research. People typically use their smartphones and mobile apps to simplify their lives, not to perform research.
If your hospital or health system is looking for hospital mobile application development, Infovision can help. We specialize in mobile business solutions and mobile app development for AndroidTM, iPhone, iPad and Blackberry platforms along with a host of other enterprise technology solutions. Contact an Infovision representative for details.
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