Purpose: This presentation aims to explore the impact of utilization of the health system application’s services to operational workflow, patient satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness.
Background/significance: There is pressure on the healthcare industry to improve quality of care and clinical outcomes while reducing hospital expenses. As the cost of healthcare increases, healthcare organizations (HCOs) are seeking to address unnecessary hospital encounters. The current healthcare model is unable to meet increasing demands. There is a need for a healthcare model that supports patients in managing their own health.
Patients value convenience as much as quality and cost. They want convenient and immediate access to their health information and healthcare services. Providers need a tool where they can see all clinical data for continuity of care and decision making. The challenge relies on how HCOs empower patients to engage in their healthcare while providing a consistent workflow for providers.
Digital health technology solutions such as telehealth, mobile health applications (app), and patient portals are becoming industry standard tools and are rapidly improving. Combining these technologies into a single enterprise platform will vastly improve the patient digital experience and offer many additional benefits to healthcare stakeholders. Our organization built a health app which delivers a singular digital experience by fully integrating the patient portal, electronic health record, virtual urgent care (VUC), telehealth, and other health services. This is a streamlined approach for both the patient and care team that is built to enhance provider workflow, patient-provider communication, improved data collection, continuity of care, and improved patient access to health information with emphasis on patient experience and the same high-quality care at a lower cost.
Method: An in-depth data analysis from health app dashboard was conducted to determine the total number of unique records and encounters involving digital communication, online scheduling, active app users, and other key metrics.
Result: Since the health app launched, numerous new features have been deployed and optimized using agile software development principles. A dashboard has been built to track utilization and performance. It measures user access, completion of business percentage, and key clinical outcomes.
A review of the database showed a total of 839,854 (September 2018–October 2019) active users. It shows a 200% increase in health app installations since January 2019. Since the addition of radiology scheduling feature, 37% of eligible patients scheduled their appointment and 15,702 viewed their imaging results within the app. Patients used the app to find a provider; a total of 180,412 encounters were recorded. Over 7,800 VUC encounters have been completed since the service launched in 2017. Patients used the app to communicate directly with their providers; a total of 2,896,619 messaging were recorded. Patients have expressed high satisfaction, highlighting the ease-of-use, convenience, and access to world-class medical care.
Conclusion: Fully integrated health apps can improve digital experience for both patients and providers. As a data-driven organization, it is important to track key performance indicators and key clinical outcomes to help identify opportunities for investment in new digital health tools to further improve healthcare services.