UCHealth transformed patient journeys with Pointr's indoor-outdoor digital mapping platform- Here's how.

Finding the exact location of an appointment at a healthcare campus can be stressful for patients, especially if they've never been there. UCHealth added Pointr's digital maps and location to their mobile app, to seamlessly guide patients from their home to their appointments. UCHealth uses a digital mapping application to seamlessly guide patients from their home to their appointment.

In a May Becker's Hospital Review webinar sponsored by Pointr, Nicole Caputo, Senior Director, Experience and Innovation at UCHealth, and Ege Akpinar, CEO and co-founder of Pointr, discussed patient wayfinding challenges and how Pointr's digital mapping and location services platform addresses those challenges.

Four key takeaways were:

  1. The majority of patients ask for directions when visiting a hospital. Lost patients can mean missed appointments and lost revenue. Deloitte Digital data was cited, revealing that more than 85 percent of patients ask for directions when visiting a hospital and roughly one-third of new patients get lost. According to Wellapp, a missed appointment costs a hospital $265 in lost revenue, totaling nearly $10 million per hospital annually.
  1. UCHealth's goal was to reduce patient stress by providing wayfinding assistance at all of its hospitals. "We see so many patients who come to the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora who either have never been here before or are coming for a completely different reason [than why they came before]," Ms. Caputo said. "The last thing they should have to worry about is where they're going. Our goal was to find a solution to help people find their way through our to minimize stress and improve their overall experience."

UCHealth is planning to expand its successful wayfinding initiative to other hospitals, focusing on their unique challenges. "I do think there are some facilities that don't need indoor digital mapping," she added. "But we can certainly provide patients with driving directions to those facilities, help them find the best parking spot, and assist in locating the closest entrance to their appointment."

  1. Developing a seamless journey requires teamwork and continuous improvement. Although UCHealth has publicized its wayfinding app throughout the hospital, the most successful way to encourage utilization was incorporating the app into appointment reminders. "It's part of our push notification to nudge patients and let them know it's there for them," Ms. Caputo said. Within a few days of integrating wayfinding into push notifications, UCHealth saw nearly a 40 percent increase in utilization.

Mr. Akpinar shared some technical challenges of implementation, including dealing with unreliable and fragile Bluetooth signals and successfully implementing rapid elevator transitions to appropriate floor maps when wayfinding across numerous floors. "We spend a lot of time making sure the solution is as seamless as possible for the end user," he said. "Engaging the right stakeholders throughout the process is key to making it as cost effective as possible."

Since kickoff, UCHealth has focused on making the solution better, continuously testing and problem solving. "The moral of the story is don't give up just because something's not perfect yet," Ms. Caputo said. "Get the right people involved, work together and keep testing." 

  1. Positive patient feedback reinforces the most important purpose of this wayfinding solution. "I start my day by reading our Find Your Way reviews," Ms. Caputo said. "They've been so positive. It's pretty outstanding when technology works as expected and to know it's making an impact on patients' lives."

Pointr specializes in automated mapping and digital wayfinding for large campuses and is currently deployed in 27 countries.

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