Mobile technologies are entering all spheres of our everyday life and healthcare isn’t the exception. More than 70% of Americans use some kind of mobile health applications to monitor and improve their health, and 93% of doctors prescribe such apps for patients. The simplest of them remind to drink enough water or to do daily exercises, the most complex can monitor the state of health of a patient and help to take the right medicine at the right time. This helps doctors to improve the quality of the treatment, and to achieve better results of the therapy.
Clinics also implement desktop or mobile health applications to make their work more efficient. These are the CRMs for general practitioners and hospitals, that help to manage the work of the whole institution, the apps to make an appointment or general facility information apps – software that is aimed to improve patient’s satisfaction and to retain clients. Every particular clinic application solves one problem, that results in the measurable benefit for the facility.
What are mobile health applications?
Mobile health applications are specific software solutions that serve two areas: firstly, they allow medical facilities to solve the most important problems of the business, like money-loss from no-shows, low client’s satisfaction or overwhelming paperwork. The second area is patient-oriented and includes apps for healthy lifestyle such as applications that remind to take the right medicine at the right time, drink enough water or do daily exercises.
Want to find out, how can mobile health applications solve the problems of your medical business? Follow us through the article and choose the app, that will fit your needs best.
Remote appointments through mobile health applications
Making an appointment to the doctor or going to the clinic has always been kind of frustrating. You have to schedule at least 2 hours for the way there and back, spend half an hour or more in the waiting room and then have your 20-minutes consultation with the specialist. Most people would ask themselves: is it really worth it? Some of them prefer to go to the nearest pharmacy and buy the drug they have recently heard about and which is supposed to help with their symptoms instead of spending half of the working day to see the doctor.
The scaring statistics says, that nearly two in three Americans don’t go to their primary care providers in case of any health issues. What does it mean to the medical facility? First of all, you are losing clients. Complicated appointment making, long waiting times, impossibility to reach the doctor anytime – these are the reasons why patients ignore their PCPs and start self-medication. The only way out of these situations is for the medical businesses to make the professional treatment accessible and affordable. This is where the modern technologies can make a difference.
- Imagine John, who is spending his vacations somewhere in the African jungle. John likes eating exotic food and one day he wakes up with a terrible stomach ache. The nearest clinic is hundreds of kilometers away, but there is a witch in the next village, who is supposed to heal every disease with some mysterious insect bite. John is thinking about interrupting his vacation, heading to his hometown to see the physician.
- Or let’s think about Mary, a young mother with three lovely kids, who probably caught a cold but can not go to the practice because there is no one who can stay with the children at home during her appointment. She decides to take some medicine without the prescription just to get rid of the symptoms.
But what about allowing John and Mary to have a short consultation with the doctor through a video call with mobile health applications? Benefits from such an appointment are precise scheduling, no waiting time, no rush, and what is the most important – no need for the patient to go to the practice. The doctor will profit with additional revenue and increased client’s loyalty. The appropriate video call software can significantly increase the patient’s satisfaction, and client’s loyalty, reduce the queues in the waiting room and result in the higher revenue for the medical facility. Furthermore, such mobile appointments will reduce the average time spent with one patient by 60%.
It is possible to make a precise diagnosis without forcing the patient to go to the practice. Even if the doctor couldn’t make an effective diagnosis during the online appointment, s/he will anyway prescribe the best treatment until the time the patient manages to come to the appointment in person.
Mobile appointments usually last shorter than the appointments in person, do not require nurse’s assistance and are paid according to the common rates. Private general practitioners often join the networks like Doctors On Demand, where they can contact their own patients and even give prescriptions after the short consultation. An average appointment in the practice lasts around 20 minutes, the video calls with your Doctor on Demand are usually much shorter – 8 to 10 minutes each.
Video appointments through mobile health applications are not only great instruments for the primary care providers. Medical specialists can also improve the doctor-patients relationship by allowing their clients to get the professional consultation without the need to go to the clinic. In addition to all the benefits listed above, the apps are able to connect the patients with diverse medical specialists for a professional consultation, even if these doctors live in other states. This is also a good possibility for the patients to get the second opinion of a specialist about each particular case. Using such application medical specialists will increase their clients base and reduce the duration of their consultations, which will result in higher revenues for the practice.
With this kind of mobile health applications, physicians are available for their clients in the most unusual situations, which will build the strong doctor-patient relationship and increase trust.
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Mobile health applications for medical records
You as a doctor have probably encountered the fact, that vital signs measuring during the medical appointment can be inaccurate as it doesn’t represent the current health condition. 24-hours monitoring could show the whole picture and help the physician to make the precise diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
- Remember John and Mary, who are now able to have an online appointment with their physician? To prescribe the proper treatment their doctor will definitely need some medical records, which are hard to measure through a video call.
- Let’s now imagine Jessica, a woman who suffers from high blood pressure every evening. One day she decides to go to the doctor, but during her appointment at 9.30 a.m. the blood pressure monitor shows 120/80, which is pretty nice. In the evening of the same day Jessica feels sick again with 150/95, but during her next appointment with the doctor, the records are normal, just like the day before.
Let’s find out, how mobile apps for patients can help by solving these problems.
Mobile health applications for vital signs measuring are now reality, hundreds of them can sync with fitness trackers and medical devices to measure blood pressure and heart rate, body temperature, and sleep cycles. Microsoft HealthVault is one of the best free to use mobile health apps, which allows patients to keep and to share their medical records with the doctors. Moreover, this app can store patient’s lab results, medical images and prescription history, which is really handy and make the access to all the needed data easier. The records might be updated manually or automatically through the connection with medical devices.
Medical record apps for patients allow the doctors to precisely estimate the health condition of the patient, prescribe the best treatment and prevent any disease complications. This is also a great addition to the video appointment apps, as they allow to measure the vital signs of the patient even during the remote consultation. In this case, data accuracy is important to guarantee the best treatment results and to improve customer experience with the help of the easy to use and efficient mobile health applications.
Appointment scheduling software
Most practices suffer from money-draining regular no-shows of the patients. According to the statistics, the no-show rates are between 5 and 25 %, depending on the type of the medical facility and its location. An average general practitioner has around 6 000 appointments each year, 1 000 to 1 500 of them don’t take place. The hourly rate of a physician in the USA starts with $40 and can reach $140 per hour by specialists, therefore, minimal yearly loss from no-shows is $20 000 and more for one doctor. Minimal yearly loss from no-shows is $20 000 and more for one doctor.
Minimal yearly loss from no-shows is $20 000 and more for one doctor.
- Jessica made an appointment by her primary care provider, which should take place in three weeks. She didn’t come to the clinic at the assigned time, let’s assume what the reasons for that could be. Jessica could have gone in the urgent business trip, recover from her sickness, forget the appointment and so on. She didn’t cancel her assignment, so the clinic lost at least $20 from her no-show.
How could this problem be solved with the help of mobile health applications? With the help of the scheduling software for medical businesses.
Mobile apps for patients remind that they are having a medical appointment the next day and kindly ask to cancel the appointment if they are not going to come. This allows to make an appointment for the other patient and not to leave the gaps in the clinics schedule.
— DocMeIn.com (@DocMeIn) August 25, 2016
Thousands of medical practices have already experienced the benefits of the appointment software such as DocMein. This service was developed especially for healthcare related businesses and considers all the specifications of the workflow. Scheduling desktop and mobile health applications help the private general practitioners to make appointments, compose them into schedules and send automatic notifications and reminders to the patients.
Using such software will reduce the no-shows by minimum 36 % – an impressive indicator of increased working efficiency and significantly reduced money loss of the practice.
— Smart Clinic App (@smartclinicapp) August 29, 2016
General information applications for clinics
Though big clinics and hospitals offer high-quality medical services, this is not the only reason for patient’s satisfaction. The statistics claims that 18 % of the patients in the USA had some negative experience and were not satisfied with the service in the hospitals, and in most cases it was connected with the lack of different kinds of information.
- Do you remember our young mother Mary? Let’s assume her elder daughter is sick and needs to have an appointment with the doctor from the children’s hospital. It takes quite long till Mary finds the phone number of the needed department, but has no idea, which doctor she should schedule an appointment with. After she finds all the necessary information, she has to bring her daughter to the appointment. But what is that? The hospital is huge, it consists of four separate buildings, each has at least 5 floors. Looking for the department she needs she comes late to the appointment – the next patient is already entering the doctor’s office. Frustrated and disappointed Mary has to schedule another appointment while her daughter feels worse.
Mary’s queries could be solved with mobile apps for patients, that deliver all the necessary information. One of the most successful examples of such a clinic application is MyWay by Boston Children’s Hospital – it provides an easy navigation through the facility, helps to find the doctor or the department, review the child’s health records and lab results. It also brings up to date information about the accommodation near the hospital, public transportation schedules, menus in the nearest cafeterias and so on.
The mobile health applications with general facility information is a must-have for every hospital and clinic. This is the best way for healthcare related businesses to become more patient-friendly, to provide the great experience and to retain customers.
CRM for medical businesses
Investing in patient’s satisfaction is not just about receiving positive reviews, it can turn out in additional revenue. According to the Press Garney reports, hospital with $120 million annual revenue can increase it by $2,2 to $5,4 million by improving the satisfaction of its patients.
- Let’s assume, a private practitioner MD Jones decided to ask his patients about their impressions from his services and ask for ideas how they would like to improve it. He created a questionnaire and let the patients fill it out. As there are more than 1500 patients in his practice, the staff couldn’t manage all the information and a lot of the facts got lost.
- Something similar could happen in the state hospital when they decided to divide all their patients into several groups according to the age, gender, chronic issue etc. The hospital’s staff couldn’t deal with 50 000 patient’s cards and gave up.
How is it possible to manage the information about such a large amount of patients? The answer is simple – CRM.
Complex software solutions can help both by gathering and organizing information about the customers of the particular business. This kind of mobile health applications can optimize the interaction between the clinic and the patients, help to develop a trustworthy relationship, to store and use patient information more efficient. CRM also allows to schedule appointments and to automate the payments. With this kind of a clinic application, hospital services will become more patient-oriented and care for the higher consumer satisfaction.
The CRM software mostly combines the benefits of the scheduling and medical records clinic applications with the improved doctor-patient relationship through the online appointments, giving the business owners the possibility to store and manage the customer information. Smart Clinic is one of the examples of such a complex app, which includes procedure prep protocols, treatment tips for patients, appointment reminders, and clinical surveys.
As a result, the medical business becomes more client-oriented, increases its competitiveness.
Want a tailored mobile solution for your practice?
Mobile technologies conquer all spheres of our life and it is impossible for medical businesses to stay aside. Are you still doubting if mobile health applications could solve the problems of your facility? Share with us your particular case and get a tailored solution for your practice, clinic or hospital.
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