The Two Best Use Cases for Personalized Mobile Experiences in Healthcare

In CHIME’s Digital Health Most Wired 2022 Patient Engagement Trend Report, ORBIE award winning CIO, Michael Saad said, “The pandemic surely accelerated this move to more targeted digital offerings, but the healthcare industry is absolutely headed to personalized care.”

The move to stimulate and align behaviors is driven, to some extent, by the shift to value-based care, he noted. “Now that hospitals and health systems are responsible for the overall wellness of a patient, we need to figure out ways to interact with the patient and do so at their level.”

A recent focus group of healthcare CIOs1 discussed the topic of personalization with an emphasis on tools like mobile that meet patients where they are most likely to be. The group talked about different use cases and what the impact of more custom experiences could be. The two that standout are unique patient experiences and employee experiences.

Patient Experiences

In a recent Accenture survey2, 30% of patients said they switched providers last year. Of those, almost 80% said that the problem was ease of navigation from accessing care, like finding a provider and scheduling an appointment all the way through to actually navigating the complex campuses of health systems.

Patient experience impacts loyalty and retention. When it is easy to get the care patients need and navigate through the patient journey, people keep coming back. This can help with social determinants of health, value-based care initiatives, and other critical business goals. When done right, value-based care can help reduce costs by up to 16%. Specifically, any impact on readmissions, which cost over $40B a year, is meaningful.

One focus group attendee summed it up by saying, “it is about service on demand, where consumers are used to being able to get what they want at the click of a button. There is a growing opportunity out there when it comes to long term conditions because we're talking about wellbeing. People being able to access timely education and self-manage and get real-time access to care and answers to questions. That is an expanding landscape.”

Custom experiences in a mobile app could be created for any cohort of patients. That includes groups like labor and delivery, oncology, and orthopedics. There are also use cases like experiences specific to inpatients or certain patients at certain facilities. The needs of an expecting mother are very different from those of an end of life patient, and the tools and features they can access on a mobile app should reflect that.

Employee Experiences

Staff turnover in healthcare has been on the rise for the last few years. Today, it is just over 25%3. Comprising about five percent of operating costs4, staff burnout and turnover is currently one of the biggest costs for healthcare organizations:

  • 52% of nurses are considering leaving 
  • It costs $28-51k to replace a nurse5
  • It costs $151k to replace a nurse with a traveler6
  • 1 in 5 physicians7 is considering leaving
  • It costs $500k-$1M to replace a physician

One CIO shared, “Recruitment and retention is a huge issue, especially for our highly specialized folks like our radiation therapists.” Another added, “I think for us what we've been looking at for our team members is something to help them open tickets and gather information. How do I keep doing my day?”

New research from Qualtrics8 shows employees want process improvement, easier access to work tools, and Improved recognition/rewards. A mobile app with a customized staff experience can deliver all three of these in a native mobile platform.

A custom staff experience can be created for onboarding new employees or focused on retaining existing employees. It can include training and HR tools and anything else that employees need on a daily basis.

The conversation concluded with a comment from one attendee about tying these experiences to bigger organizational goals. “How we start is at the finish line and map our way backwards, and it feels like a lot of people are simply running towards what we feel needs to be done next. I think that it's important for people to know where they're headed and what that roadmap looks like, because just speaking with different health systems, I just don't get a feeling that that's the way most people are approaching it.”

Mapping a mobile experience back to organizational goals is where this personalization strategy can have the biggest impact. If the priority is retaining top talent then that experience should be a priority. If addressing maternal health and mortality is a key issue then a unique patient experience for expecting mothers should be at the top of the list. Like any other digital health effort, creating custom experiences for healthcare consumers should be part of a larger strategy that is tied to organizational goals. For more on creating personalized mobile experience, download the complete report on the focus group discussion


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