Mobile App or Mobile Web?
Many hospitals today find themselves stuck at a crossroads – whether to develop a mobile website, or go through the costly process of building an app? With a mountain of factors to consider – resources, costs, technology, connectivity, and most importantly, meeting the needs of the mobile patient – this becomes a loaded question.
The Ease of Mobile Web
Consumers spend 52 hours annually looking for health information online. Providers need to reach these consumers quickly and consistently. Mobile websites are a great starting point for that. With a mobile website, hospitals can use existing content and resources. Plus, compared to custom app development, mobile websites are less expensive to create.
So, if a hospital sees that, why would they need a native app?
The Engagement of Mobile Apps
Three words. Continuous patient engagement. With HCAHPS surveys and readmission penalties hitting healthcare providers, patient engagement and satisfaction have become crucial factors for hospital success. Mobile websites, while great for general information seekers, are not the most efficient patient engagement tools. Mobile apps are – evidenced by 89% increase in health app usage in 2014!
A customized, native smartphone or tablet app can:
- Target specific conditions and patient needs;
- Provide interactive tools and cutting-edge functionality;
- Run smoothly without an Internet connection;
- Offer easier access and friendlier UI.
Case in point: Tanner Urgent Care app. This great-looking, branded app pulls dynamic wait times for all the Tanner Urgent Care and ER facilities, with instant GPS directions. A patient who can access this info on the go, without hassle, is more likely to be satisfied with their emergency care experience. The hospital system can, in turn, cut costs by reducing unnecessary ER visits.
Where to Start on Mobile Apps?
So, hospital marketers have received their mobile marching orders. But where to start? On this challenging path to your app, you may find:
- Slammed with EHR implementation, hospital IT teams have no resources to spare;
- When translated to IT and then to external development teams, original requirements often get “lost in translation”;
- Changes are costly and may extend the project timeline;
- There is no opportunity to test the app on devices – until development is complete.
No wonder mobile app projects can be intimidating!
Fortunately, there is an easy solution: hospital marketers can use an online app platform with unlimited prototyping and live testing capability, equipped with a WYSIWYG app canvas, pre-coded functions, and powerful back-office and data integration capabilities.
Your patients expect a variety of convenient access options and tools. Mobile app development can make hospital leaders grip their wallets in terror. Yet, you can still launch great apps without betting the building. Many hospitals have already done so using the MobileSmith Platform to create custom, and in many cases award-winning, apps – without writing a line of code. Will your app be next?