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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Jan 28 2012   9:31PM GMT

The value of mobile apps developed by health systems

Posted by: RedaChouffani
Apps, Kaiser Permanente, mhealth, Mobile, Mobile applications, mobile apps

This past week, Kaiser Permanente released their mobile health app for the Android platform. The app, simply a mobile optimized web portal, provides many of the functionalities that are available through the patient portal.

As more and more health organizations embrace the deployment of mobile apps that can provide patients with full access to their health data, Kaiser Permanente decided it was time to join in as well. With the launch of their new app, patients are now able to view their lab test results, diagnostics details, securely communicate with providers’ prescription refill requests, and much more, all through the application.

For patients living in areas with large health systems such as Kaiser, these apps provide tremendous value. The following are just some of the advantages of mobile apps made by larger systems:

Convenience: Accessibility of health information on mobile devices provides one of the most convenient ways for any patient to access his or her PHI. While some still have that information available directly online, having the mobile version or a mobile optimized site provides the most effective and user-friendly method to deliver and interact with information on the go.

Push notifications: For most mobile apps (mostly native apps), push notification is a very valuable functionality. For a healthcare app, this feature can help notify the patient on the arrival of lab results, outstanding balances, follow up reminders, prescription reminders and other potential valuable information that the patients need to know.

Feedback: Receiving feedback and survey responses from patients is very important to a health care system. And traditional methods require phone calls and filling up paper surveys. But with the use of mobile apps, health systems can prompt a patient to answer few questions right after a scheduled visit. Whether it is a hospital stay on a simply an outpatient visit, the app will provide an easy way for the patient to provide survey answers from the convenience of their mobile device.

Exchange of information: For some patients with chronic diseases, a mobile app that is provided by a health system can provide valuable patient education content that is specific to the patient’s condition, as well as breakthroughs in treatments and clinical trials that may be available. It can also help some patients by providing them with tips and health coaching.

As patients from all generations continue to use more mobile devices, more health systems and payers are seeing that as an opportunity to get connected and stay in touch with their patients. This not only provides an opportunity for better care, but also improved customer service through convenience and real-time information.

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