The plethora of Apps available for patient engagement will be shaped by Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” principle, as observed by the high attrition rate already underway. Fear not; the Apps that survive and implemented appropriately will be instrumental to improve outcomes and reduced costs.
- Pew Research reports smart phone ownership across the US is at 64%. As providers adopt a client perspective of their patients, financial assessment of their relationship takes on new meaning. Clients whom lack smart phone technology may be best served through device provision by the provider. The ROI is easy….subscription rate versus readmit or worse yet, compromised quality scores.
- Learning curve. Likewise, the client focused provider will deliver envoy service to its users to assure correct App set-up and training. All the players in the healthcare system benefit from in-service, continuing education opportunity, and IT support. The client, as a healthcare partner, deserves the same.
- Adoption assessment. New metrics for healthcare Apps need to be embraced as a measure of its success. The number of downloads are no longer a critical parameter. Instead, evaluate efficacy; the improvement in outcome and dollars saved as a result of effective App utilization and intervention.
- Content security and delivery. Secure information is paramount in each point of access and storage. Content delivery should be client condition specific and parsed by the provider to include PHI, supportive coaching, and general wellness information. The clients, as well as the provider staff, need access to the relevant information.
- Fragmentation; developer or provider. Developers will surely work through OS requirements as Aps are built / reiterated. A greater fragmentation likely exists with the provider failing to understand their clients’ cognitive position in their healthcare journey. Measure of patient engagement should be defined and addressed accordingly.