Healthcare is a rapidly changing industry, and this change is accelerated by the increasing use of mobile technology in the patient, provider, and hospital ecosystem. A recent study from IBM’s Institute for Business Value states that “65% of healthcare executives said that mobile health solutions will be the key technology to enable digital health.” However, what are these mobile solutions? And what solutions can healthcare leaders implement today? In this article, we will detail four innovative ways that leading hospitals can leverage mobile to increase both patient and provider satisfaction and boost revenues.
1. Patient Engagement via Tablet Dashboards and Updates
Hospitals can leverage mobile by providing the patient with real time data on their current status and their progression through their treatment plan. For example, Baptist Memorial Health Care instituted a program where patients received 10-inch smart tablets which displayed their current medical status and treatment progress. These mobile solutions can display the patient’s vital signs, test results, and even information on their current medical team. Additionally, these tablets can offer patients personalized educational content on their current diagnosis and treatments. This live and easily accessible information can improve patient engagement, compliance, satisfaction, and outcomes.
2. Family and Caregiver Involvement via Mobile Data Sharing
Just as this patient data and treatment progress can be shared with the patient via a mobile device, the patient can allow this information to be shared with their family and caregivers via their own mobile devices as well. This mobile information access can lead to increased family and caregiver engagement in the patient’s care, which can lead to improved patient outcomes. Additionally, this mobile information sharing can help healthcare providers avoid fielding multiple calls with concerned family members.
3. Virtual Follow Up for Chronic Disease Management
With mobile video conferencing, providers can carry out routine exams and follow up appointments remotely via video telemedicine solutions. This is particularly useful for chronic disease management, which requires frequent and repetitive patient follow up visits. Video conferencing technology allows these providers to conduct exams face-to-face with patients, all without requiring the patient to leave their home. While this technology provides convenience to the patient and increases patient satisfaction, virtual follow up can also help decrease appointment cancellations. This can occur as patients are able to budget less time for their appointment when they do not have to travel to their provider’s office, and, with less time needed to attend an appointment, there are fewer unforeseen events that can get in the way.
4. Secure Messaging and Increased Information Flow Between Providers
Healthcare providers are often “on-the-go” and resort to their mobile devices to communicate patient health information and coordinate patient care with their staff and colleagues. A study from Spyglass Consulting, for example, found that 67% of staff nurses use their mobile phone “to support clinical communications and workflow.” However, these communications contain private patient health information, and these mobile phone communications often pass through unencrypted channels. This unencrypted transmission of patient health information can violate HIPAA laws and result in hefty fines for hospitals and healthcare providers. In order to combat this problem and simultaneously allow healthcare providers to communicate via mobile devices, hospitals can provide their staff with custom mobile apps that allow HIPAA-compliant messaging and integration with the provider's electronic health records.
Mobile technology is here to stay, and healthcare leaders must constantly be on the cutting edge of this technology in order to stay competitive and maintain patient satisfaction. Above are just a few examples of how mobile technology is being leveraged to provide better healthcare, and these current solutions will continue to adapt and grow with patient and provider needs.
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