From legal work to backup plans, these five tips are crucial in the creation of a good patient portal app.

By April Le | Posted: July 12, 2013

Sharp HealthCare recently released its mySharp patient portal app for Android. The iOS version was released last year. Here’s what it learned from the process:

Create a communication plan

We had many areas on, on our intranet, on our mobile site and on the patient portal website that included language that needed to be updated to reflect the addition of the Android app. Having a communication plan allowed us to know exactly which pages needed updates, what items on those pages needed to be updated, when those updates needed to go live, who was responsible for making the changes and who our target audience was for each media piece.

Include a Plan B in your communication plan

Our web developers gave us a heads-up about the turnaround times for the stores we submitted to. Some of them could approve the app within 48 hours. Others could take a little bit longer, up to several days. We had to decide whether we wanted to proceed with promoting the app on one store, or wait until the app was live on all stores before promoting. Have copy ready for both plans so all you have to do is copy and paste the updates on your go-live date(s).

Learn the marketing and advertising guidelines as well as legal requirements for each store

This was challenging for us because there are some specific rules about which store needs to be promoted first within a page and what specific trademark attribution language needs to be used. It helped to print out all of the guidelines and rules. With each page we updated, we went down the line to make sure we followed all rules.

Lots of preparation

The preparation came with many scheduled meetings. These meetings helped us organize what we were to present and say during meetings with other departments. We also scheduled working meetings, which were helpful when it came to developing copy updates to the various items on our communication plan. These meetings were especially helpful when it came time to reviewing the legal and marketing guidelines for each page. We printed out the various guidelines and requirements and read through each of them, reviewing them for each store and each item on the communication plan to make sure we were compliant with all rules.

Communicate and follow-up with everyone involved

From our kickoff meeting to launch, we communicated with various departments, making sure everyone was updated on the status of the app launch. This was especially important because so many teams were involved. In addition, hospital leaders were always kept in the loop to be sure they approved the copy and graphics that we planned to promote. Keeping everyone involved and informed meant less confusion and fewer miscommunications, which resulted in a much smoother process from start to finish.

Learn more about Sharp HealthCare’s patient portal app. 

RELATED: Learn why transforming your health care communication is more critical now than ever before. Attend the only one-day summit specifically for health care communicators.


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