You may be surprised to learn that there are only a few hundred hospital branded apps available on the App Store. With such a small playing field, building one for your hospital can definitely help you stand out.

But, before committing resources to this effort – the cost of developing a custom branded app is in the neighborhood of six figures – you should know that app users are very particular. People who are likely to download your app expect that it will help them find information and perform tasks that simplify their life.Failure to meet this expectation can result in stiff consequences, as many users stop using an app after a few uses if it’s not delivering value. User expectations aside, building a branded app is still a very worthwhile endeavor. When executed correctly, it enables positive interactions with your brand that results in a very loyal and engaged patient base.

Healthcare Branded App Do’s

Start by creating a simple interface that allows users to access functions in as few clicks as possible, then offer features that help solve your patient’s most pressing problems.This may include:
  • One-button prescription refill
  • Online bill pay
  • ‘Find a doctor’ feature with online appointment request/scheduling
  • Secure messaging to physicians or nurses
  • Reminders or alarms for time sensitive self care actions, such as taking medications, procedure preparation or post discharge care
  • Indoor GPS to help patients and their families access amenities within your facility
  • Clinic appointment check-ins
  • Updates on public health alerts

Healthcare Branded App Don’ts

Maximize your app’s sticking power by avoiding these common mistakes:
  • Preaching to the choir: People downloading your app have already made a commitment to your brand so don’t waste their time with marketing information.
  • Displaying health information: People rarely use their smartphones – much less an app – to conduct research in this way.
  • Being redundant with your website: Users are not likely to download or even keep an app with repackaged website content. Make sure you offer unique features that allow patients to interact with your brand in a meaningful way.
  • A ‘Swiss army knife’ approach: Limit your app to features that provide the greatest benefit to the audience that is most likely to use it.
  • Taking the path less traveled: Features like ER wait times and urgent care locations don’t offer the ongoing utility that will endear users to your brand. Save these things for your website.

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