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Can Your Patients Make an APPointment?


Mobile apps are now a part of everyday life and commerce. Unfortunately, like many business processes, medical practice mobile apps are few and far between and often ineffective.

Mobile apps are now a part of everyday life and commerce. Unfortunately, like many business processes, medical practice mobile apps are few and far between and often ineffective. Here are some things to consider when building and deploying a medical practice mobile medical app:

1. Get into the head of your patients. What do you think they would want to know or know how to do before and after they see you for an appointment? For example, can they make an appointment online? What kind of pre-appointment information should they have? After the appointment, what kind of fulfillment plan to do you have? Netflix lets you know when your DVD has been sent, so why not let the patient know when the tests and images you prescribed have been scheduled?

2. Know your medical and business goals? Do you want a better elective surgical procedure conversion rate? To raise your patient's health and insurance IQ? Reduce your no-show rate?

3. Pay attention to design and what works and gets attention and what does not. We all have apps we download and rarely use. Most, in fact. Here are 16 killer design tips.

4. Find a technologist familiar with mobile medical app development and shop for the best fit.

5. Pay attention to rules and regulations issued by your State Board of Medical Examiners concerning ethical and professional medical promotion and advertising.

6. Be sure your app is part of a marketing plan that is redundant, repetitive, and relational (connected to your other online offerings, like social media and your website or newsletter).

7. Create links to video on You Tube or others sites and infographics to tell your story with pictures or video, not words

8. Personalize the message as it applies to the patient's problem, condition, or needs. Amazon probably knows more about your tastes and preferences than you do. They are experts at selling you things based on your preferences and habits. You should become expert at educating and informing patients based on their preferences and habits.

9. Be responsive and timely.

10. Remember: It's personal. Tell your story about your practice, background, and experience. Emphasize high touch using high tech.

Mobile medical practice apps are great way to enhance patient engagement, improve outcomes, and reduce the friction and losses in the doctor-patient interaction. There are many and an increasing number of apps for that.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice