Mobile technology has made life easier for us in a host of ways. We can find any product, service or place with the tap of screen. We have a world of information in our pockets. And our mobile and tablet devices can be used to help us manage our finance, plan travel or even get fit.
But the benefits of mobile can and do extend to healthcare too. Despite this, there are still some inefficiencies within healthcare, and hospital care in particular, that could be aided with the clever use of mobile technology.
Here are 5 ways hospitals could make life better for their patients.
1. Allow Patients to Manage Follow Up Appointments on their Mobile Devices
For some patients, being discharged from hospital is just the beginning of their course of treatment. There could be a lot of medication to take and follow up appointments to attend. Using a mobile app, it would be absolutely feasible to allow a patient to see and amend their follow up appointments online as well as see the medication they should be taking. You could even go as far as giving them the functionality to set reminders to take their medication.
2. Allow Patients to Manage their Medication on their Mobiles
The recently released CQC 2016 Inpatient Survey showed that only 38% of patients felt they were completely informed about the side effects of medication when they got home from hospital.
In other words, the majority of patients are not fully informed.
This is based on NHS hospitals of course and the experience of private patients could be different. But whether your hospital provides NHS or private care, ensuring your patients are completely informed on their discharge is vital.
A mobile application could go some way to helping here too. While there is no substitution for good communication from medical professionals, a full and detailed medication plan could be made available to patients on their phones. You could include all the information about medication, the side effects etc and even go as far as notifications to remind them to take medication.
3. Feedback and Problem Reporting
The only way for any care provider to improve is to take feedback from patients and implement improvements. Through the use of a bespoke application, it would be perfect feasible for hospitals to allow patients to report problems or submit feedback in real time.
So if there’s a cleanliness issue somewhere in the hospital and a patient can let you know right now and quickly, you can fix it quickly, thus improving their experience.
You could then collect feedback on discharge and even use an application to collate the feedback, find patterns and help you to make the decisions on areas you can improve.
4. Meal Management
While the main thing any inpatient is concerned about is most often their health and the care you provide, other aspects of the hospital experience can make a huge difference to patients. One of those is the quality and choice of food.
In many NHS hospitals, choosing your meals still means filling in a card and waiting for someone to come and collect it. Then, if a patient changes their mind later in the day there might not be an obvious way for them to notify you.
With real time meal management within a mobile application, you could allow patients access to a menu each day and allow them to choose their meals and change their choices up to a certain time.
You could also include useful information in this format about ingredients, allergens and nutrients.
If you wanted to take it a step further, you could tailor recommended meal choices based on the health of specific patients.
This is a much more efficient way to manage meal choices than sending people around with cards!
5. Getting to Know Patients – And Letting Them Get to Know You!
The 2016 CQC Inpatient Survey showed that only 49% of patients always knew which nurse was looking after them. In other words, over half of patients did not know which nurse was looking after them at some point during their hospital stay.
With a mobile application, you could easily give your patients real time information about the doctors and nurses in charge of their care.
It might seem a minor thing, but ensuring patients know who is caring for them can positively affect their overall experience in hospital.
And that’s just the beginning
There are limitless ways in which mobile technology can improve the lives of your patients and help you to increase administrative efficiency in your hospital. If you’ve got a problem you think mobile technology could solve, get in touch with us today. We could help you to design, develop and launch a mobile application to meet your patient or administrative goals.