Goodbye, Bulky Patient Handbooks; Hello, Service Line Apps
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Printing patient education pamphlets, brochures, and information kits isn’t cheap. It’s one thing if patients actually use them. But do they? Two hospitals thought mobile apps might be a better solution.
Luke Poppish is executive director of the OB/GYN service line at South Shore Hospital near Boston, Massachusetts. “Anecdotally, we were hearing that moms would get their information booklet at their intake appointment, and they would throw it in a drawer, leave it on a table, anywhere but being useful,” he says. “Our supposition was, can we stop giving out all these handouts and pamphlets and printouts if we consolidate all that information and put it on an app?”
Roper St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina had a similar situation, but with a different service line: bariatrics. “Bariatrics is a long lead-time surgery, and it requires a lot of information,” says Krista Robertson, interactive marketing manager. “Patients have this enormous, thick patient handbook, and the bariatrics team wanted a way that they could provide that content in an easier, more digestible manner.”
Both organizations had lean teams and limited budgets. Instead of trying to build apps from scratch, they opted to collaborate with a mobile application platform vendor that touts “code-free mobile app development.” The apps successfully launched earlier this year.
Besides reducing print costs, the app strategies employed by these two organizations achieved positive results for other strategic objectives.