7 Reasons to Develop a Mobile App for Your Hospital
If you’re visiting this article you’re already considering creating a mobile app for your hospital. If you were to ask my opinion, the answer would be an astounding “Yes, you need to develop a mobile app for your hospital right away!” Below, I’m going to outline all of the reasons you should look into hospital mobile app development, but to sum it up, it’s not just to help your patients — it‘s a great way to increase your healthcare business’ revenue.
According to a study done by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the worldwide revenue from mobile healthcare will reach $23 billion by the end of 2017 – don’t you want a piece of that pie? I sure would, especially because the medical mobile app space is scarce. In 2015, just 2% of the over two million apps available in the most popular app stores were medical applications. That was only two years ago. Because of this, your app could really help people and make a difference.
There are a whole lot of reasons your hospital needs a mobile app right now. You’re already missing out on helping all the people your app would help and all of the money you could make. If you’re still not convinced, here are seven reasons why you need to develop a mobile app for your hospital ASAP and the first simple steps you can make to start.
Directory Services Help Patients Find You
The first reason why you need to develop a mobile app for your hospital is that it can really, really help people find doctors, follow through with appointments and get the treatment they need when they need it. If you create a mobile hospital directory it will help so many people with the following:
- Finding specialists in their city
- Coordinating appointments
- Knowing where the department is located
- reading valuable content from your hospital, which makes people trust you more
Let’s face it – finding a good doctor or specialist in a large city is really not a simple task. Not to mention, that once you find the specialists, it’s nearly impossible to find their office on a huge medical campus. Developing a mobile app that focuses on directory services can completely eliminate this issue. Your app can help patients locate a department, physician or building, so they’re never late for an appointment again. This also saves you time because your staff isn‘t standing around waiting for patients who are late because they’re lost. It also motivates people how don’t have a regular physician to easily find one and get much-needed treatment.
If you’re unsure about where to start to develop an app for your hospital, I will outline the process below
Most Physicians Are Already On their Mobile Devices
This market may be largely untapped, but not for any good reason. Most physicians already use mobile devices as part of their care. According to a survey by William & Wilkins, your healthcare staff is more than ready for a mobile app.
- 62% of physicians use a tablet at work
- 50% of those physicians use the tablet while they’re treating a patient
- 71% of nurses use their smartphones for operational purposes
Those aren’t just the only reasons. More and more doctors are adopting mobile technology as a way to help their patients. 56% of physicians use mobile apps for healthcare for making medical decisions. 39% say that the apps help reduce the amount of time they spend on administrative tasks and 36% of health care providers think mobile apps increase collaboration among their staff. From a business perspective, developing a mobile app for your hospital can save you money in the long term and streamline your practice.
A Hospital App Can Make Access To Medical Records Easy
If you decide to develop a mobile app for your hospital, it will not just help your patients, but also your staff by freeing up valuable time that they could spend doing other tasks and helping people get better. Doctors use this technology to:
- View ultrasounds and x-rays
- Access 24/7 medical records
- transfer medical records to specialists in a single click
I’m going to show you some tips for developing hospital apps for patients and doctors below, but right now you should consider adding Electronic Medical Records (EMR) to your app before you find a hospital mobile app development company to put your ideas into fruition.
Most patients don’t know when to see a doctor and even less know how to access their medical records when they need them. This often involves calling hospitals, finding a person to talk to, being put on hold for long periods of time, being transferred to different departments and then hopefully getting a hand of your records. This can all be done at once with a mobile EMR app. Your hospital’s app can securely let patients and doctors view their important EMRs at any time.
Bill Paying Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful
Chasing around a patient in order to get them to pay you or chasing around an insurance company that takes a notoriously long time to pay up isn’t really a wise way to spend your time – especially when other people’s lives are at stake. Dealing with bills isn’t easy for a hospital or a patient. Here’s why:
- It’s stressful for patients to deal with hefty medical costs as it is.
- It’s time-consuming and annoying to track down patients who haven’t paid.
- Payment takes days or weeks depending on the method.
Having a bill pay element in your custom hospital app (which I’ll show you how to get started with below) is almost essential. There are no cons. Your app can make it a simple two-step process for patients to instantly pay their pills, create a payment plan when their bills are too much and save you the hassle of having to track them down by sending automatic reminders.
You Can Automate Scheduling
Everyone who‘s ever been to or worked in a hospital knows that every clinic has a different wait time. These wait times can range from a few minutes to a few months. Nobody wants to deal with that! A mobile app for your hospital can quickly optimize scheduling through automation. Here are just a couple of benefits:
- Patients won’t have to wait in-person
- Patients can easily change appointments
- Patients can make appointments
- Patients can find out the wait for a walk-in
I’m going to show you how to begin developing your app below, but you should definitely add some element of scheduling when you decide to move forward with making an app. No patient wants to wait around for hours – especially if they don‘t feel well. Your app can tell patients exactly what the wait time would be, help them schedule an appointment and allow them to change the appointment if needed. This makes your waiting room more efficient and frees up time for your staff to focus on more important matters.
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Hospital Apps Help Executives Make Informed Decisions
With all the data an app for your hospital will collect, the executives in charge of making major decisions will be able to really know what choices are best. Your app can help executives do the following:
- Create accurate earning business goals
- Monitor the flow of funds
- Monitor the availability of rooms
- Automate everything having to do with insurance companies
Dealing with insurance is a pain in everyone’s neck, so why not automate the process. Developing an app for your hospital can do just that. In addition to automating payment and insurance-related procedures, an app gives executives a clear, live image of the amount of cash coming in, the availability of rooms and the like helping them make informed decisions that benefit the hospital as a whole.
One Time Cost That Streamlines Your Business
Hospital mobile app development is costly – there’s no getting around that. But, it is more or less a one-time cost that yields huge benefits. That’s a price that many other hospitals are totally willing to pay. According to one survey:
- 18% of hospitals spend between $500,000 to $1 million in mobile development
- 56% of hospital apps only take 7 months to complete
Now, $1 million is nothing to scoff at, but if it helps automate some of your staff’s work, save millions of dollars in operations and resources, over-time it’s totally worth it. The services and solutions your app will provide are invaluable. Think of all the overtime you won’t have to pay because your staff can purely focus on what’s important instead of getting muddled up in waiting for late appointments, tracking down lost medical records and more.
How To Begin Developing A Mobile App For Your Hospital
Starting development is often a stressful idea, but let’s break it down. You should start by doing the following:
- Survey your patients to find which features are important and which devices they use, OR outline the first version of your app‘s features yourself, with the help of your colleagues.
- Hire a hospital mobile app development company willing to take on your project.
- Work with them to create the minimum necessary functionality for patients and doctors.
- Get feedback from a select group of users on functionality and user experience.
- Add select additional features and changes your customers wanted to see – this way your patients and staff will tell you exactly what they need!
- Release the app, collect the feedback and keep improving it!
That’s pretty much all you need to know in order to develop an app for your hospital, which really is necessary to streamline your hospital’s functions. If you start there and are guided by feedback from real users, your hospital will reduce their operational costs and it will be extremely valuable for your patients. That‘s a meaningful ROI that you can count on.