Why Mobile Apps Will Become Synonymous with Patient Care
August 2, 2014
Mobile Internet usage has become a large part of our everyday lives. From banking to finding a parking spot, there’s an app to help. As more and more businesses are using mobile applications to connect with their customers, healthcare providers are beginning to see how valuable they can be for keeping their patients healthy.
Now that medical practices have begun using electronic medical records, embracing a mobile application is the most natural next step. People of all ages and income levels are using mobile technology to manage their lives. With the right patient care app, they can manage their healthcare as well. Read on to learn why mobile apps will become synonymous with patient care.
They Help Patients Manage Their Care
Over half the population already has a smart phone or tablet, and with affordable smart phone plans from carriers like T-Mobile, that number is growing steadily. Already, early adopters are using devices that connect to their smart phones to monitor their exercise levels, blood pressure and more.
Physicians find that this way of making it easy for patients to take charge of their care, keep accurate records, and easily communicate the information also offers an alternative way to provide excellent patient care. As an added benefit, patients who have a mobile app are more likely to monitor conditionslike blood sugar levels several times a day.
They Connect With Home Healthcare Providers
For patients who require in home healthcare, offering a way for caregivers to easily access records, treatment plans and stay in touch with medical teams can significantly increase positive outcomes. Recently, the VA introduced a program to provide iPads to thousands of post 9-11 veterans dependent on home health aides.
The mobile devices come loaded with an app that allows a caregiver to provide weekly updates to medical teams. They have instant access to medical records in emergency situations, have contact information at their fingertips, and have a quick reference for care and prescription dosage information.
They Offer Instant Information Integration
Often, patients visit their family doctor and then are sent for third-party tests. Once the tests are administered, they have to be sent to the physician for review. Sometimes, this can take several days or even weeks. With a network-wide mobile app, test results can be delivered and uploaded to a patient’s medical record instantly.
They Inspire Brand Loyalty
A mobile app that works across a provider network builds a strong brand identity and significantly increases brand loyalty. For patients who use mobile apps, there is no incentive to choose a physician or specialist who isn’t in the provider network. For example, the Mayo Clinic’s new mobile app has patients raving about how simple it is. With their mobile device, they can make appointments, access medical records, search for in-network specialists and even get maps and directions of the buildings if they get lost.
They Help Providers Stay Organized
Patients aren’t the only ones who can benefit from mobile apps. Physicians can use a mobile app as a reminder for appointments, to do pathological reports, and quickly send patient messages via email. Most physicians are short on time and being able to do multiple tasks while reviewing a patient’s medical records is invaluable.
While accessing the records they can send a message, set a reminder for further review, access reference tools, and make referrals the moment they think of it. Having a streamlined process in place allows medical teams to collaborate and perform more efficiently.
They Provide Records of Communication
Often, patients forget exactly what their physician said after their appointment. While many doctors give a short summary on paper, these papers are easy to misplace. By using a mobile app, doctors can send digital updates that can be easily accessed by both parties. Also, when a patient has a question, email offers a quicker response time and a more accurate archive for patient communication.
Using mobile apps to provide excellent patient care is the future of healthcare. When patients and medical teams can all work together, everyone benefits. As an increasing number of people begin utilizing their mobile devices in new ways, they will be looking for mobile apps that can help them get and stay healthy.