Poor healthcare apps could cost hospitals $100 million a year

Poor healthcare apps could cost hospitals $100 million a year, Accenture says

While 66 of the 100 largest hospitals in the United States offer consumers mobile health apps, only 2 percent of patients are using them, according to a new report published on Wednesday by Accenture that also found that failure to focus apps on services consumers want most could cost each hospital more than $100 million a year in lost revenue.

In its “Losing Patience: Why Healthcare Providers Need to Up Their Mobile Game” report, the consultancy found that 38 of those top U.S. hospitals have developed health apps in-house rather than by hiring a mobile app vendor.

By not aligning their functions and user experience with what patients expect, many of these mobile health apps are failing to win over more patients. For example, only 11 percent of the hospital apps offer at least one of the three most desired functions: access to medical records; the ability to book, change and cancel appointments; and the ability to request prescription refills, Accenture found. Significantly, about 7 percent of patients have switched healthcare providers because of a poor experience with online customer service, including mobile apps, Accenture said.

Accenture suggested that as consumers bring their service expectations from other industries into healthcare, providers will likely see higher switching rates on par with the mobile phone industry (9 percent), cable TV providers (11 percent) or even retail (30 percent).

“In many cases, we’re seeing hospitals only offering a subset of things in their mobile apps — view labs, look up some basic forms,” Brian Kalis, managing director of the health practice at Accenture, told Healthcare IT News. “A lot of what is offered is around core medical record pieces versus easy appointment scheduling and such. It’s just static information, not personalized or tailored to an individual.”..

Read full story at Healthcare IT News

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