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No other industry has been impacted by the pandemic so dramatically as the healthcare sector. Not only did it save millions of human lives — healthcare was probably the only industry in the world that did not go 100% online. As the pandemic unfolded, healthcare experienced the most radical transformations, especially in the areas of services administration and organizational management.
For 2022, the US healthcare think tanks have outlined the following global trends in the development of the healthcare sector:
In other words, medical organizations are becoming more digitized and more autonomous at the same time. And this is just one reason why medical organizations need to be more actively involved in the development of online apps but the development of their own apps as well.
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While software development is not something medical organizations typically prioritize, it does not mean that hospital administrations should ditch the idea altogether. Doing so would negate the value of an entire range of benefits a hospital stands to gain by having a doctor booking app of their own. Let’s consider the most impactful benefits.
The saving effects of having an independent doctor booking app come in two forms: fewer working hours for administration staff and a more efficient process for canceling and rescheduling visits. This type of patient experience also brings down the overall costs of overhead.
This is a common complaint among patients — a medical emergency arises during off-hours, and they have to wait till at least 8 a.m. to schedule an appointment. Doctor appointment apps eliminate this problem entirely. Also, when an online scheduling app is in place, patients do not have to spend hours listening to music on hold and the typical “your call is very important to us”. Instant scheduling for visits (even if this visit isn’t for the next day) is a huge psychological factor that positively contributes to both patient confidence and loyalty.
Scheduling a medical visit often concerns sensitive, personal information — starting with age and weight and finishing with a detailed description of the patient’s intimate concerns. Not all patients are ready to discuss such things over the phone or face-to-face. Providing a text description is an entirely different issue. Patients can easily provide more intimate details as there is no sense of urgency involved. They are free to take as much time as they need to gather their thoughts and self-assess their condition properly.
The benefits of doctor appointment mobile app development would have long-lasting effects towards creating a stronger reputation, building trust, and encouraging long-term patient loyalty.
For obvious reasons, this segment of the medical app market has been booming throughout 2020-2021. However, not all apps currently offered are the same when it comes to performance, interface, and end results.
HIPAA compliance in the US, GDPR in the EU, PIPEDA in Canada, and so on — are the starting point for medical organizations considering ANY software for their patient processes. All data protection standards applicable to document workflows in a medical organization are automatically applicable to software in use as well. If in doubt, consult a legal professional. The legal consulting fee is always going to be much lower than a hefty fine for a violation.
The core user is always the patient. Patients come in different age groups, professions, and with very different levels of digital skills. The user experience of a doctor appointment mobile app must be immediately obvious for every demographic. The core items of the interface should include:
The doctor appointment app doesn’t necessarily have to be slick or cool. Simplicity is the key. In terms of design specifications, the focus should be on the size of the icons and contrasting colors.
A doctor appointment app should never be a standalone tool. For starters, it must be integrated with the employee calendar (including vacation planning). Ideally, it should also be integrated with:
Scheduling a doctor’s appointment cannot be done offline. However, it can be organized in real-time and synced across all related devices. All other features (patient’s and doctor’s profiles, prescription histories, contact info, etc.) should be available in the offline mode, thus ensuring that patients have access to all the necessary info even without internet access.
Testing is one of the most important steps when it comes to medical app development, for two primary reasons: a) security of personal medical records is the cornerstone; the app must be tested against all potential data breach vulnerabilities; b) the app must be tested on all possible internet-connected devices, on both desktop and mobile. Moreover, testing must ensure that the scheduling procedures are easily recognizable, even when the patients are switching from their mobile devices to laptops, and the other way around.
When it comes to doctor appointment app development as a process, there is only one must-have — experience and a working history in the healthcare sector.
Hiring a doctor appointment app development company simply because you are a big fan of their previous apps is not always the best choice when it comes to healthcare apps.
The Glorium team has 10+ years of experience developing apps for the healthcare sector. As of today, over 5M patients are using our apps on a regular basis. Glorium’s areas of expertise include HIPAA and ISO 13485 compliance, telemedicine solutions, and online diagnostics tools.
Contact us today to see how we can help your medical organization streamline the doctor appointment and scheduling processes, minimizing queues and streamlining organization for all your patients.
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