By Katie Wike, contributing writer
Accenture found that 66 percent of the 100 largest U.S. hospitals offer mobile apps for their patients.
The majority of major U.S. hospitals offer mobile applications for their patients, but do they really help? A recent study conducted by Accenture suggests simply offering the apps may not be enough as only 2 percent of patients utilize them.
“Simply having a mobile app is not enough,” said Brian Kalis, managing director in Accenture’s Health practice in a press release. “Hospital apps are failing to engage patients by not aligning their functionality and user experience with what consumers expect and need. Consumers want ubiquitous access to products and services as part of their customer experience, and those who become disillusioned with a provider’s mobile services — or a lack thereof — could look elsewhere for services.”
Healthcare IT News writes 38 of those top U.S. hospitals have developed health apps in-house rather than by hiring a mobile app vendor. Hospitals need to meet patient expectations in order to encourage them to use hospital-designed apps. The most patient requested features in these apps include the ability to access to medical records, schedule appointments, and request prescription refills. Astonishingly, only 11 percent of hospital apps provide one of these functions.
“Mobile engagement is becoming increasingly critical to the success of every hospital in the digital age,” Kalis said. “Today it’s all about enabling an individualized approach, where patients are empowered to help manage their own care. Large hospitals that design and build experiences as well as partner with digital disruptors will have the ability to better engage with their patients, which will enhance patient loyalty — thereby enabling the hospitals to protect their revenues.”