Best Practices for Healthcare App Development and Telemedicine Apps

September 24, 2020

Healthcare is personal and often very emotional. We all know and understand this. However, when it comes to our technology around healthcare app development, many providers and organizations haven’t quite caught up. Telehealth and healthcare apps can feel cold, robotic, and impersonal. This experience doesn’t reflect the care and thoughtfulness of individual providers and healthcare professionals. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some key healthcare app development strategies to increase patient and provider trust.

Ensure Mobile App Basics are Covered

In the rush to adapt to our new mobile-first world in 2020, many healthcare organizations had to quickly build out mobile apps to connect patients with providers from home. While the pandemic certainly accelerated the healthcare industry’s digital transformation, it also meant some classic app basics or app development 101 principles fell to the wayside. It’s important to make sure the UX of your app is intuitive and easy to navigate. Keep accessibility in mind as well as some of your patients may have disabilities such as blindness, deafness, etc. Always remember you’re designing an app for a very wide range of people.

Send Personalized In-App Appointment and Medication Reminders

Use a notification system like Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive) Notes to alert patients of upcoming appointments, prescription refills, and more. You don’t want to inundate patients with notifications and reminders, so it’s important to use sophisticated in-app targeting to reach the right people at the right time and in the right place.

If you use an app to communicate with individual providers, these kinds of notifications can help with the onboarding process and notify them of new features. This helps with boosting mobile app retention and reducing churn.

Use a Message Center for Rescheduling, Canceling, and Questions

Many healthcare providers already send text messages or app notifications of some sort for appointment confirmations. However, they don’t allow patients to respond with anything other than “yes” or “no.” This can be an incredibly frustrating experience if you’re just trying to ask a question, reschedule an appointment, or something that falls outside of those two answers. If you have a two-way messaging center in-app, patients can easily send these questions and get a personalized response. This eliminates friction along the mobile customer journey.

Having an in-app messaging system also gives patients the ability to choose how they want to communicate with you. When it comes to healthcare, some people can feel embarrassment or shame, so talking out loud on the phone can be difficult. Providing patients with multiple communication channels so they can select what works best for them builds trust between them and your organization.

Send In-App Surveys After Appointments

Sending in-app surveys can help product management teams assess whether or not changes or new features are resonating with patients. They can also inform the product roadmap by revealing new features or points of friction along the mobile experience.

But in-app surveys don’t have to exclusively benefit the product management or mobile marketing team. You can schedule in-app surveys to trigger after appointments or key points along the mobile customer journey to better understand the experience. This feedback can then be distributed widely across your organization to inform business decisions. For example, sharing feedback about a specific hospital location can help iron out operational or logistical issues unique to that spot. Or human resources can collect feedback from patients about specific individual providers to assess who needs improvement and who is excelling in patient care. The options are limitless.

Ultimately, using intelligent targeting, in-app surveys, and notifications systems can help increase patient happiness and improve provider retention. The heart of these strategies is ultimately feedback. In an emotion-fueled industry, it’s absolutely essential to be collecting, measuring, and analyzing feedback throughout the entire mobile customer journey. Get started with Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive) today.

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