Location Based Apps: Improving Patient Experiences One Mobile Device at A Time
Medical emergencies do not happen on a schedule, and they definitely do not happen in convenient locations. The healthcare industry is one of the leading industries that are making use of location based apps. These apps are providing better patient experiences for individuals and families through simple downloads on mobile phones that everyone already uses for many things that are much less pressing.
How the public engages medical professionals has been a hot button issue for years. There is a growing perception in the notion of eroding healthcare because of the relative inaccessibility of medical professionals.
However, the current crop of location based apps is doing its best to get rid of this stereotype and help people get more effective service. Let’s take a look at some of the most important changes that these technologies are creating.
Automating the Check in Process
Healthcare organizations are finding a way to make doctors and patients happier through automation. Many aspects of the check in process are similar for everyone, but they can bottleneck an organization depending on the variables of staffing and internal operations.
AI driven applications have the ability to reduce the instance of human error in the check in process. Smart healthcare technology can not only improve your patient experience, it can improve care as doctors and patients can have a clear view of who is in the waiting room and how long they have been waiting.
Responding to Emergencies
The modern crop of location based applications also has the ability to respond to emergencies much more quickly than traditional methods of response. Tools that function from a common tool like a smart phone have the ability to more immediately access medical professionals or even bystanders who may be able to help in the case of a medical emergency.
Medical professionals across the board agree that the United States has one of the best emergency response systems in the world. However, many also agree that this system could be improved through the activation of the average citizen and healthcare professionals who just happen to be near to an emergency medical situation as it happens.
Even if the average person does not get involved, one of the most immediate applications of location-based service apps is the ability to locate the medical professional that is nearest to an emergency – much like police officers have a system to radio nearby officers to an emergency law enforcement issue. Dispatch could occur with greater frequency and efficiency until responsibility could be passed to a traditional source. It is well known that an improvement of response time to an emergency will drastically improve rates of positive outcomes to an emergency. Though this concept to fruition is still in the infancy stages, it shows how location based applications can grow over time to help healthcare processes.
Logistics and Administration
Location based apps in all industries have the ability to give turn by turn directions through built in map functions. This becomes especially important in the industry of medicine, where every turn may literally correspond to life or death. Even if the situation is not so dire, turn by turn location services certainly ensure a higher level of administrative performance within a tight schedule.
App developers also have the ability to include a certain level of personalization. Welcome messages that include check in times leverage Meridian IoT technology alongside location based functionality. This service can also inform patients if a doctor is falling a bit behind schedule. The doctor can even send personal messages to patients who are in the waiting room to explain in real time what is going on. Doctors can also coordinate with other medical professionals who are in the office to optimize patient care in the interim. Nurses can call the patient by name, greet him and soothe over any interruption of service while taking care of administrative red tape.
The Doctor’s Standpoint
If a doctor has more information, it allows her to participate more fully in improvement of the patient experience. In more than a few cases, doctors who are accused of a poor bedside manner or poor administration are simply victims of not having the technology to provide good customer service in the midst of a stressful situation.
Connecting location based medical service apps to IoT allows doctors to alert patients of their arrivals. They are also better able to recognize when their next patient arrives. If the next patient does not arrive on time, the doctor has more time to spend with the current one. Patient apps that are infused with location based tech also provide nurses the option to greet patients ahead of time if they arrive early to optimize patient flow times in the office.
Alongside clearing up bottlenecks and improving emergency services, optimizing patient satisfaction ratings also raises a medical facility’s probability of HCAHPS reimbursement and other important incentives. These incentives actually give hospitals the chance to pay for (and even profit from) improvements they make in their infrastructure through cutting edge location based tech.
Author: Bill Flatley, Field CTO for Healthcare
Bill is responsible for technical strategies and recommendations for Comport’s Healthcare clients. His extensive experience includes four healthcare systems in leadership roles supporting Clinical Applications, Digital Health, and Office of the CIO as the primary liaison between IT and the business.