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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 13, 2016

Hospital patients losing patience with disappointing mobile app experiences

Hospitals across the U.S. are learning a valuable mobile marketing lesson, that simply having a mobile app is not enough, according to new research from Accenture.

by Helen Leggatt

Of the 100 largest hospitals in the U.S., two-thirds (66%) have mobile apps for consumers of which 38% have proprietary apps for their patients. However, Accenture's research revealed that just 2% of patients in hospitals where apps are provided use them.


Why might this be? Because, says Accenture, hospitals have failed to align their mobile apps with the services that consumers demand, a move that could cost each hospital, on average, more than $100 million in lost annual revenue.

In fact, of the hospitals researched, only 11% offer mobile apps that align with the three functions that patients demand the most, they being:

- access to medial records;
- appointment booking and management;
- prescription refills.

Consequently, patients that are disillusioned with the mobile and online offerings of hospitals are switching healthcare providers. Accenture reveals that 7% of patients in the hospitals included in their research have already done so and that the healthcare industry could soon witness switching rates even higher than those experienced in the mobile phone, cable TV and retail industries.

According to Accenture, one way forward for the healthcare industry is to co-operate with digital disruptors to enhance the customer experience. For example, ZocDoc could be partnered with to improve appointment scheduling or InstaMed Go to improve bill paying

"Mobile engagement is becoming increasingly critical to the success of every hospital in the digital age," said Brian Kalis, managing director in Accenture's Health practice. "Today it's all about enabling an individualized approach, where patients are empowered to help manage their own care. Large hospitals that design and build experiences as well as partner with digital disruptors will have the ability to better engage with their patients, which will enhance patient loyalty - thereby enabling the hospitals to protect their revenues."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: apps, healthcare, mobile

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