Recent data suggests healthcare professionals across the board — from urgent care and ambulatory providers to pet clinics using cutting-edge veterinary technology — are going mobile, even taking out loans to implement this technology. What’s behind this drive for enterprise mobility solutions for healthcare and why now? The benefits of mobile health apps and increased mobile health (mHealth) device usage include positive ROI (often above 2:1), increased quality of care and better outcomes for patients — all of which are now consistently achieved through the real-time reporting and advanced machine-learning widely available in today’s market.
Even though the healthcare industry lags behind others in enterprise mobility, many individual organizations have seen the writing on the wall and are starting to come around:
These same digital mobility solutions for healthcare have been shown to drive down costs in care management programs, offering a 10% to 20% decrease in administrative costs. Some companies using these types of mHealth mobility devices with predictive analytics have seen a 25% to 30% reduction in emergency department (ED) visits, while others have been able to identify patients with a higher risk for non-compliance and develop intervention programs to get them back on track before an ED visit is necessary.
The latter success was achieved during a study on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients by using two types of advanced analytics:
Taken separately, these two types of analytics could only observe the high costs of treatment in real time or predict which types of patients could incur high costs at a later date. But when data from the two is run through a digital solution, such as a fast-reporting mobile health app with machine-learning capabilities, providers can adjust their care management programs accordingly to achieve better patient outcomes and potentially lower costs in the process by eliminating trial and error.
In the COPD study, these types of analytics were used to identify nonadherence to medication, both past and present, as a strong predictor of ED visits in the future — visits that could be avoided. Machine-learning algorithms analyzed data to segment and prioritize patients based on how likely they would be to change their behavior. This would both improve their health and lower the risk of a high-cost event.
The key indicator for intervention turned out to be patients who were consistent in filling their medications at first but then stopped refills for approximately three months. This behavior highly correlated with a future event that required a trip to the ED. Doctors and analysts were able to use this information to design a program for intervention that could prevent ED visits.
The intervention programs for the at-risk patients were implemented via various forms of mobility solutions. This delivery model was found to be preferential by patients and optimal for engagement and success. mHealth solutions allow for a wide variety of means of communication including calls, mobile health app notifications, videos, texts and emails. Each communication could further be monitored to see which was most successful in prompting a change in behavior by the patient.
For example, some patients preferred video chats while others responded best to a visiting nurse — understanding which care module has a higher rate of success for individual patients can save time and money while simultaneously improving patient health outcomes. Known as A/B testing across many other industries, this ROI- and performance-boosting technique is now more accessible at the caregiver level thanks to mobility solutions for healthcare.
The benefits of mobility solutions for healthcare organizations are vast and work for just about every aspect of caregiving:
These benefits and trends stretch far beyond just making it easier for people to connect, as evidenced by veterinarians embracing mobility solutions packed with veterinary technology. Many of these forward-thinking vet clinics are even financing equipment that allows for faster, more accurate diagnoses because of the ROI. They are also able to offer smart wearables for pets that monitor health conditions much in the same way human patients use Fitbit® devices. These pet wearables can also provide GPS tracking as well as ultrasonic therapy devices to reduce muscle spasms.
But it isn’t just the benefit of mobile health apps vets are providing. To set their services apart from older clinics that don’t utilize this type of groundbreaking veterinary technology, enterprising vets are also offering cloud-based record-keeping services to provide faster billing, easier record-checking and a higher-level of quality to a growing segment of the population that demands only the best for their pets — and is willing to pay for it. Florida is no exception.
There are a number of other reasons why Florida healthcare organizations should seriously consider adding mobile solutions and smartphone services to their operations, all of which go beyond the regular benefits of mobile enterprise.
1. Florida ranks 10th in the nation for broadband coverage, with 94.9% of the state covered. This means Florida healthcare employees can work wherever the job takes them. There’s little worry about losing reception, which makes mobile outreach that much more mobile.
2. Florida also has a faster average mobile download speed (4 Mbps) than Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and every other state in the southern United States except Georgia. In larger Florida cities like Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami, these speeds are even higher. With fast, reliable speeds like these, healthcare professionals in the field can provide instant mobile billing services, attain document signatures, order medications and procedures, access invoices and perform other services that were previously not available when working remotely.
3. Florida is filled with some of the best hospitals and minds in the healthcare industry, making it a fertile breeding ground for mobile advancements. For example, doctors at the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children developed a Snapchat-like mobile health app that lets surgical teams communicate with family members during surgery. The EASE (Electronic Services to Surgical Events) app allows the operating room (OR) team to send secure texts, pictures and videos to family members before, during and after a surgical procedure to lower anxiety in the waiting room.
And that’s just the start of what Florida healthcare providers can do with the right mobility solutions on their side. Going mobile isn’t just about giving an organization a competitive edge through increased ROI and patient approval — it’s about the benefits of mobile health apps and providing enterprise mobility solutions for healthcare that improve quality of care and physician performance, making any investment you put into mHealth a potential lifesaver.