Whether NHS or private, hospitals face a number of challenges. They need to be efficient without sacrificing attention to detail and need to ensure a faultless quality of care often at scale.
Over the past decade or so, smartphones have become engrained in our lives and organisations have found increasingly creative ways to put them to use for their business. We’ve seen online retailers enabling their customers to buy on the move, opticians using augmented reality to let people “try,” glasses on before buying and thousands of finance companies providing apps to let people get financial advice or get an insurance quote on the move.
But it isn’t just finance companies and retailers who can benefit from the use of mobile technology. Healthcare organisations can (and do!) as well. And healthcare apps needn’t simply be just for patients. In fact, internal only applications could have a host of benefits for such organisations. Here are 4 ways mobile technology could be applied to help hospitals to become more efficient.
Internal Communication Enhancement
A 2014 Ponemon Survey found internal communication in hospitals to be economically damaging for hospitals. The survey centred around US hospitals, but the same principles apply here in the UK.
The study found there are 4 areas in particular where communication costs money:
- Emergency Response
- Patient Transfers
Looking at admissions alone, the survey found that the hospitals taking part spent an average of 51 minutes admitting each patient, of which an estimated 33 minutes was wasted due to inefficient communications.
52% of respondents cited the inefficiency of pagers as a reason for wasted time, while 39% stated that the fact text messaging isn’t allowed was one factor at play. 35% cited the inefficiency of email.
Of course, security in any form of communication about patients and their care is of the utmost importance. So it stands to reason that stringent methods of communication have to be in place.
But what if we don’t have to allow text messaging to manage workflow or patient transfer/admission? What if we don’t have to rely on email?
The creation of an internal secure mobile comms application for staff could eradicate some of the inefficiencies in communication while maintaining the security of communication.
2. Appointment Management
How much time and resource goes into notifying patients of appointments, liaising on amendments to appointments and on agreeing follow ups?
Letters are slow and yet so many patients are still notified of an appointment by snail mail! The cost of writing the letter, printing it and sending it over hundreds or thousands of such notifications really does add up and is remarkably inefficient.
Imagine being able to instantly notify your patients of an appointment and receive their confirmation straight away? Imagine patients being able to notify you of their inability to make an appointment and change them there and then?
This is a really simple thing to achieve with a mobile application and could save you significant time and money.
3. Meal Management
How much time and resource do you invest into catering within your hospital? Handing out paper menus and going room to room to take orders requires a lot of resource.
What if you were able to allow your patients to place their meal preferences digitally and access all the information from one central place? What if you could even see at a glance which patients have special dietary requirements or the ones who are nil by mouth?
Again, this is really very feasible using mobile technology and isn’t only a benefit for you, but also for your patients.
4. Supplies Management
Under-ordering day to day supplies like latex gloves and aprons can cause serious issues. But over-ordering is an inefficient use of budget.
Consider the possibility of having a digital record of supplies like this easily accessible for staff and enabling staff to notify, via an application, the relevant person when something is running low in their department?
Digitising supplies management and providing staff with a simple to use application to notify of shortages and similar is a quick and efficient way to help the relevant managers to better manage supplies of this nature.
Putting Mobile to Work for You
Mobile technology and applications don’t just have to be for download from an App Store. They can be put to use for private internal use by staff and patients and designed and developed to provide solutions to your specific needs. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to discuss putting mobile to use in your hospital.