Front-desk staff and volunteers bear a huge burden in most hospitals. They’re the “face” of the hospital to the public, and often its heart as well. They field questions and complaints, provide directions and soothe stressed spirits.
Then there’s the beleaguered nursing and support staff, struggling to balance patient needs with physician requests. And of course, administration—the quiet heroes and heroines behind the scenes, keeping everything up and running.
There’s no discounting the importance of the patient experience to a hospital’s success. Luckily, one of the smartest ways to improve the patient experience also has a huge upside for staff and volunteers. Hospital mobile apps offer a number of advantages for the entire facility. Let’s take a closer look.
Learn more in our on-demand webinar: “Using New Technologies to Enhance Patient Satisfaction”
Reduced strain on information desk and volunteers
With a branded hospital app, patients can have a wealth of important information, right in their pockets. App users can tap and swipe through physician and department directories, then tap to call directly. They can use built-in wayfinding to find their destinations easily. When patients and visitors are empowered to take care of their own needs, they require a lot less direct assistance—and they’re likely to be a lot less stressed.
Streamlined patient and visitor flow
With blue dot indoor navigation and turn-by-turn guidance, app users can confidently make their way through the halls to their destinations. This helps minimize congestion—particularly around decision-making points such as lobbies, elevators and junctions between multiple buildings or wings. Less congestion means staff members can be more efficient as they transport patients and needed equipment. (Plus, improved wayfinding means a corresponding reduction in the amount of directional questions staff must stop and answer in the midst of their other duties.)
Learn more in our eBook: “Found: A Flexible Solution for Hospital Wayfinding and Asset Tracking”
More efficient patient and visitor communications
Hospital mobile apps represent a powerful and easy-to-use messaging platform for administrative and marketing staff. Predefined notifications and alerts can be sent directly to the lock screen on each app user’s smartphone—and these notifications must be interacted with to be dismissed, helping to guarantee your message is received.
When combined with location-based technologies, the app-as-messaging-platform becomes even more powerful and efficient. For example, marketing can use a beacon-and-app system to send information about bouquet specials whenever an app user passes the hospital florist—or to remind users that the coffee shop is closing in five minutes. Through integrations with the hospital scheduling system, app-based messaging can also be used for appointment reminders that are impossible to ignore.
These types of messaging campaigns are easy to create and manage, using powerful back-end tools that break everything down into just a few clicks.
Fewer late and missed appointments
With personalized wayfinding, app users will find it much easier to make their appointments on time. Appointment reminders can help users confirm or reschedule with just a few taps. While some people will always run late or miss their appointments, hospital mobile apps help reduce the amount of schedule juggling that office staff has to do. And when patients arrive on time and more relaxed for their appointments, office staff is freer to focus on other mission-critical tasks.
Ultimately, a good hospital mobile app can have a positive ripple effect throughout the facility—from staff and volunteers to patients and visitors.
For tips on getting internal buy-in for your hospital app project, check out Chapter 4 of our Hospital App Launch Guide eBook. Staff and volunteers can be your biggest app evangelists, so it’s a smart idea to help them understand how your initiative will make their lives easier and better, even as it improves the patient experience.