The key to enhanced patient experience within hospitals and health systems may be right in the hands of patients and families. Smartphones are ubiquitous; and developing a mobile strategy is becoming essential to connect with patients and families before, during and after a visit.
“Health care organizations have to have a mobile strategy in place,” says Joshua Titus, CEO and founder of Gozio Health, an Atlanta-based developer of a wayfinding app for smartphones specifically designed for hospitals and health systems. “People are buried in their phones, and will begin to expect their health care organization to provide mobile communications.”
Enhancing Patient and Family Engagement
To be successful, hospital-branded mobile apps need to offer more than just patient education and hospital information. Patients and families need a compelling reason, such as wayfinding, to engage. A mobile wayfinding solution can help patients and families to arrive at their destination quickly and easily, alleviate stress, reduce missed appointments and improve the overall patient and family experience.
“Hospitals can be challenging to navigate, but when your child is sick or injured, you just want to get them better as fast as possible,” says Donna Hyland, president and CEO of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “By introducing this unique technology, we can help a parent quickly navigate our health care system to easily get to where their child needs to be.”
Mobile navigation apps create a personalized experience before the patient leaves for the hospital, providing driving directions and transportation options, such as public transit information and Uber. Within the hospital, the app provides step-by-step directions to registration, appointment locations and amenities such as the cafeteria and gift shop.
Last year, when the University of Miami Health System opened the Lennar Foundation Medical Center, a 200,000-square-foot ambulatory center on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus, it turned to mobile wayfinding to help patients navigate the new facility and arrive at their appointments on time. “Gozio Health is an incredible technology solution for wayfinding,” says Ben Riestra, Lennar Foundation’s chief administrative officer. “We wanted to create a new standard for patient experience and service excellence.” Riestra adds that the health system will roll out mobile wayfinding to all of its hospitals and outpatient centers.
How It Works
A robot-led site survey creates a customized 3-D map of the hospital or health care facility, creating a platform for the organization’s digital presence. Battery operated, Bluetooth-enabled ceiling beacons, strategically placed throughout the facility, integrate with sensor fusion technology within smartphones and tablets, providing end users with step-by-step directions to their desired locations.
The Gozio platform is compatible with multiple types of devices to reach all patients, families and visitors. This includes smartphones, kiosks and desktops.
Gozio’s location-based service operates as the foundation of the hospital or health system’s mobile platform through a branded app that can be customized to meet the needs and expectations of the end user. With a hospital-branded app, organizations can maintain an open line of communication with their community. For example, at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the app allows patients to schedule appointments at its urgent care centers, find specialists and access the MYchart portal. Lennar Foundation Medical Center’s app also guides patients and families through the facility’s artwork, and soon will provide the cafeteria’s menu. “Different hospitals have different pain points,” says Titus. The flexibility of the app, Titus adds, allows an organization to promote relevant news and services to its patients, supporting the organization’s marketing initiatives.
On the back end, Gozio analytics helps organizations to understand how patients and families move throughout the health care system, highlighting frequently visited locations and providing feedback on how visitors interact with the apps landing page.
While Children’s does not put a price tag on patient experience, the utilization of the app speaks for itself. Children’s has more than 9,000 downloads, with over 76 percent of users returning to use the application after an initial use. The organization has also seen an uptick in MYchart usage as families are accessing it through the app. Adoption grows by the day, says Gina
Dobrasz, R.N., clinical operations consultant, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, adding that the organization has received positive feedback from both patients and providers.
“Gozio’s wayfinding app has been one of those initiatives that Children’s can look back and can say, ‘This is truly a home run,’” says Dobrasz.
Gozio Health’s Wayfinding Solution has earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association. Learn how Gozio’s wayfinding mobile app can increase patient and visitor satisfaction, improve HCAHPS scores and satisfy The Joint Commission’s wayfinding requirements in its white paper: Understanding the Wayfinding Challenge.