healthcare-communications

The Need for a Connected Healthcare Ecosystem:

Healthcare industry has seen major enhancements in the past few years both in Clinical and Administrative technologies. While innovations in the fields of Digestible Sensors, Optogenetics and 3D Printed Biological Materials allow healthcare practitioners to offer cheap, faster and more efficient patient care, major advancements in the field of Healthcare IoT and services like EHR and EMR has given more control and access to data.

Yet with all the major outbreaks happening around us most healthcare providers still rely on antiquated tools for communication – pagers, desk phones, emails, paper charts and reports, which creates bottlenecks and breakdowns in communication. The outcome, very often we come across instances that link medical errors to poor communication between providers. Below are some results to ponder upon:

Connectivity in HEalthcareThe Joint Commission, one of the leading authorities for Medical Accreditations and Certifications claimed in one of their studies that “80% of medical errors are as a result of poor communication in patient handoffs  between providers”

 

AIGThe American International Group identified “Lack of Teamwork, negative culture and poor communication ” as the major hindrance to improving patient safety in hospitals.

 

 

evanoff_350Bradley Evanoff and a team of other physicians from Washington University School of Medicine in their research proved that “Failures of communication among Health Care providers can lead to medical errors and poor quality of patient care .”

One major advancement in the field of Healthcare connectivity is the emergence of EMR and EHR services. Thanks to these services, Healthcare providers have moved from paper-based patient records and files, to a central repository for all information, which is vastly more efficient. One major pain point still unaddressed despite the emergence of such services and its widespread adoption is the lack of any mode for Real-time communication. EMRs generally don’t push out notifications when new information is added and requires a computer or a work station to query patient data. Needless to say continually checking an EMR for patient information or messages creates bottlenecks in collaborative workflows.

As Healthcare moves into a collaborative care model, patient safety becomes a collective endeavor that requires strong coordination across all stakeholders in a patient’s healthcare ecosystem. Therefore healthcare communication needs to reside in a responsive, dynamic environment with multiple access points and not in a state of lagging response on fixed systems.

We live in a world where mobile technology enables communication to happen in real time. We get notified about all things we care about, on our smartphones real-time as and when it happens.

Healthcare today requires the same level of spontaneity in connectivity and Healthcare providers expect the convenience and readiness of communication that the smartphone in their pocket can offer.

At Applozic Inc. we power real-time communication across all connected devices and our aim is to revamp the antiquated modes of communication with a secure patient-centric communication solution for Healthcare providers. The beauty of our solution is: unlike most collaboration software, ours can be integrated into any app or EMR/EHR service and can also be used as a standalone communication software. With Applozic, all members can directly message fellow members of a patient’s care team, send and access lab reports with the tap of a button, use it as a telemedicine platform as we also support Audio/Video calling and make endless other customizations to meet specific requirements.

WilliamRe-emphasising the same, Dr. William Hanson from Penn Medicine, one of the world’s leading academic medical centres, published a report in which they claimed, “Patients had shorter hospital stays, when their care providers used secure text messaging to improve communication .”

The study further suggests that average patient length of stay declined from 6.0 to 5.4 days in the first month, and over a period of one year patients whose care providers used messaging as a mode of collaboration left the hospital about 0.77 days sooner, which is equivalent to a 14% reduction in their overall hospital stay.

Thus in the US, where the average cost per inpatient day hovering at around $1986, total saving per patient as a result of their decreased tenure of stay is approximately 1500$. Considering 35.1 million inpatient stays annually, cumulative saving for healthcare industry annually will be $52Bn .

Therefore it is evident that switching from the antiquated communication channels which are by and large prone to interruptions and bottlenecks, to a real-time setup has several benefits and simultaneously addresses quite a few burning problems which are plaguing the Healthcare sector.

From our research we found the following major advantages of a Real-time communication system apart from enablement of a collaborative patient care environment:

  • Decreased Costs: Patient monitoring done on a real-time basis and seamless transfer of information, as discussed above cuts down on costs both due to decreased in-patient stays and also by cutting down on unnecessary visits by doctors.
  • Improved outcomes on Treatment: Real-time feedback from all parties of the care team, creates scope for a much more informed decision making. This ensures healthcare provision is timely and treatment outcomes are improved.
  • Reduced Errors: Accurate collection of data, automated workflows combined with data driven decisions are an excellent way of cutting down on waste, reducing system costs and most importantly minimizing on errors.
  • Enhanced Patient Experience: Proactive treatments, improved accuracy when it comes to diagnosis, timely intervention by physicians and enhanced treatment outcomes result in accountable care that is highly trusted among patients.
  • Enhanced post-hospitalization care and better drug management: Constant co-ordination between patient and physician post hospitalization ensures proactive care and better drug management, thereby reducing re-admissions and increasing scope of complete recovery.

Thus far we have delved into the potential pain points Healthcare practitioners face due to lagging communication channels and the potential of Real-time communication in addressing the same and in enabling an environment of collaborative and proactive healthcare.

Our next post  delves into the details of the potential use cases of real-time communication in Healthcare.

We invite you to discuss anything relevant in the comment section below. In case you would like to take our platform for a spin, you can always Schedule a Demo with one of our Consultants.


featured

Top 8 uses of In-app Messaging and Push Notifications

“A bird in hand is worth two in the bush” and rightly so for businesses it is always easier to retain an existing customer than to bring in a new one. In an overcrowded app market where there are approximately 10 prominent apps competing in every segment, app capability is certainly no more the differentiator. Hence unless you are the Googles or the Facebooks of the world, you are always at the risk of losing out to your immediate competitor. In order to preserve market share one needs to employ better in-app engagement and retention techniques to keep bringing users back and increase their lifetime value.

Push Notifications had long been the app marketer’s darling and lately there is a new kid on the block i.e. in-app messaging. While Push Notifications are a way for you to playfully nudge your users, getting them to open your app, in-app messages are media-rich messages that you receive in the app. Together the two play a huge role in an app’s user retention efforts.

We have been building Messaging capabilities in mobile apps for a while now, and have seen various use cases of Push Notifications and In-app Messages working in tandem to engage and retain users. In this article we would unveil 8 unique and innovative ways of using these two communication channels:

  • Onboard New Users: Your onboarding experience is the user’s first interaction with your app, getting it right increases retention rates by 50% . Help customers navigate from one process to the other: such as creating an account, watching help materials etc. This would make your users familiar with the lay of the land for ease of use and navigation. 

onboarding

  • Help Users discover features: In a feature rich app, users might be missing out on the feature they need i.e. the one that would boost engagement with your app. A friendly nudge while they are on the app, asking them to check out a certain feature might just help them discover their favorite thing about your app.

Mobile Portrait Copy 3

  • Show off what’s new: Announce New Features to users: Take advantage of the worthy moment when the user is in your app to announce a major new feature and encourage them to take it for a spin. A good practice is to let them dive right into the new feature via a CTA button, making it easy for them to try it out.

Mobile Portrait Copy

  • Help retain Lapsing customers with customized offers: Often when users go dormant and are inaccessible by traditional modes of communication like email or push notification, in-app messaging with a suitable offer can be used for retargeting. This is because in-app messages are triggered when the user is actively using the app and data suggests in-app messages boosts engagement by 3X .

Mobile Portrait Copy 2

  • Personalized Upsell and Cross Sell Messages encouraging purchase: Companies have always looked for avenues to win a customer’s heart (and wallet) and one such technique is by offering personalized recommendations and up/cross sell offers. One way is to use a customer’s purchase history to suggest additional items and while someone does so, it is important to consider factors like apt timing to contact and the customer’s price sensitivity.

Android Mobile – 1

  • Transactional In-app Messages for user satisfaction: Transactional in-app messages does a great job at giving users peace of mind that their conversion action is completed. It is advisable to take it further with a CTA since data suggests that In-app messages triggered from an in-app event increase conversion by 4X.
    A good example is sending users in-app messages confirming their reservation, with an option to add it to Google Calendar. This way your app weaves into the user’s everyday life, increasing the likelihood of them becoming power users.

Mobile Portrait Copy 4

  • Sharing important information and making major announcements: Right information at the right time can delight your customers beyond imagination and make them loyal to your app. Although it can’t be good news every time, but upfront transparency is better in cases where user experience can be negatively impacted later on. For example while Google Maps tells you if a faster route has become available and gives the option to accept a change, Uber notifies users about price surges beforehand, and also when prices have dropped.

Artboard

  • Encourage Social Sharing and Building Brand Advocacy: The key here is to show messages to the right people at the right time with the right copy. The purpose is to graduate active app users into brand ambassadors by encouraging them to rate your app or by endorsing the “Sharing is Caring” philosophy asking app users to share content from your app on Social Channels.

Mobile Portrait

Do you use In-app Messaging? If yes, how and if not, why? Tell us in the comments.


on demand

Time for On Demand Services to embrace Real Time Chat

On demand services has grown from a puppy to a strong and resilient animal in less than a decade. Unique startups with the ability to adapt and customize have mushroomed across the globe. The central reason of compounding growth of this industry is the smartphones. Smartphones have allowed humans to meet their innate desire of immediacy. Mobile apps has become the primary destination to find any service, solution, information and what not! 

Today, whether you want to book a Taxi or want to book an appointment with a doctor, or maybe you are looking to get your favourite burger delivered at your doorstep, it can all happen with a few taps on your mobile screen. With the ever growing consumer and their inclination to mobile, we see new services as well as competitive ones entering the market almost everyday.

The competition is getting fierce with startups like Uber and Ola locking horns for on demand taxi booking and Grofers and Big Basket fight it out to build their stronghold as they look to build Online Super Market for consumers. For on demand medical services we have new startups like Doctor On Demand, Call Health planning for the faceoff, while established players like Practo and 1MG are bound to feel the heat.  

We are gradually getting surrounded by such apps that intends to make our life easy. These startups are bound to grow as their aim is only to make world a better place. 

Researches have estimated that more than $9.4 billion dollar has been invested since 2010 in this industry. They have highlighted that this industry has low profit margin and high labour needs. So, ability to scale up smoothly and quickly is the success mantra but scaling up under such break-neck competition requires huge investments. Hence industry experts recommend to focus on customer loyalty while executing customer acquisition plans, so that the LTV (Life time Value) of the customer justifies the initial acquisition cost. 

The general consumer of these services are extremely time sensitive and also very particular about the specifications of the deliverable. Therefore, to delight the Customer it is very essential to deliver “WHAT” they want and exactly “WHEN” they want. Thus, seamless two-way communication between the end users is important to bridge the gap. 

We spoke to a few on-demand service provider startup founders where they highlighted that they have 24×7 phone and chat support but does it solve the purpose completely? 

We figured it doesn’t as most of the founders pointed out – there still is the communication gap that ends up leaving the consumer “not so satisfied” 

Let us explain this with an example:

On-demand Food Delivery apps, are a boon to every foodie like me. Ordering your favourite pizza from the outlet of your choice and getting it delivered at your doorstep? Well, life really is beautiful. All you need to do is click a few buttons and then sit back and relax. But, what if you suddenly realize you forgot to mention about the type of cheese to be added. You drop a message to customer support who typically replies after few  minutes. Moreover, by the time, the Customer Support Executive understands your request and tries to forward your request to the Service Provider, the order is already out for delivery. The outcome is a disheartened Customer fuming over not receiving the desired variant of the pizza.

So, how to tackle this issue?
Build a Human+Bot interaction on your apps.

Let me explain –
Users interact with AI-powered bots to start with, followed by Support agents only if bots fail to understand user’s inquiry. Chatbots can handle most of the Customer Support Workflow with its Artificial Intelligence.

As for the User, the moment they realize the mistake in their order, all they need to is open up the App and key in their Order ID into the inbuilt Chat Platform – this will populate your order. Next they can directly interact with the Chatbot and make customizations as required and the same will be communicated directly, thereby saving on the time gap caused due to the traditional queuing system based Support Chat. 

Well the possibilities doesn’t end just there, it can be extended on a larger scale to most On Demand Services. Chatbots cannot only be used to make Order Corrections, but also for making fresh orders, which customers tend to find more easy and natural, rather than rummaging through multiple drop-down menus in an app.

02Chat-to-order

By integrating Applozic’s Chat Platform within your apps it is possible to enable Human-Bot interaction, via which Users of your app can directly communicate with the Chatbot at your end, and thereby ease the whole process of placing or modifying an order.  

Let us look at one more scenario:

Lunctimes during office hours had been a real pain in the past, and employees had to resort to their office canteen for dining. But food ordering apps like Swiggy and Freshmenu have addressed the problem with technology and seamless service. While these platforms offer a large variety of cuisines and dishes to order from, which no doubt is their Core Competency, collaboration still remains an issue to be addressed. Thus a team of colleagues ordering Lunch from any of these apps, have to first migrate to some other collaboration platform like Whatsapp or any other instant messenger, to decide what to order and then come back and make the order.
The result is less loyalty towards your app and there is also a likelihood that they might find the task too tedious and either go back to the good old Office Canteen or quit making bulk orders, either way resulting in a loss for your business.
The solution is pretty simple; enable a Communication platform within your app and let users interact with one another, within the confines of your app.

This will again address two problems:

  • Increase User Engagement and Loyalty
  • Enable better Decision Making from Customer point of view.

 

This apart it also allows for crunching of Chat Data to make Custom offers via In-App Messages or Push Notifications.

We at Applozic, provide a complete solution to On – Demand service providers with our Ready – to – use Chat SDK.  

  • One – to – One Chat: Let Users chat among themselves or with the Service provider/Bots directly.
  • Push Notifications: Get instant notification about incoming messages so that you don’t miss out on even a single message.
  • Group Chat: Let your users  communicate in a group about any topic/context of their choice
  • Attachments : Allow your users to share location, photos, documents, Audio, Video etc.
  • SMS and Email Fallback: Backup in cases of no internet connectivity – messages will be sent as SMS and Email
  • Cross App Chat: Even if you have two separate applications for delivery executives and customers we integrate them to a single communication channel.
  • Tracking: Read receipts and Time Stamps allow Users to keep track of their message delivery.
  • UI Toolkit: With our fully customizable UI kit, it is possible to build the way you want, to complement your Brand Identity.

Applozic supports Web and Mobile apps be it on iOS or Android. Sign Up with us, and enable your web and mobile apps with our end-to end Communication Platform.

Feel free to contact us at contact@applozic.com for any queries and we would be happy to help.
Help us serve you better by providing your valuable comments and feedback in the section below.