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How Patient Engagement Apps Are Changing the Face of Patient Care

5 minute read | 04/04/2024

How Patient Engagement Apps Are Changing the Face of Patient Care

Healthcare apps continue to experience huge growth, positively accelerating recovery, reducing readmission rates and improving patient experience.

With engagement apps, patients can access important health documentation, watch explainer videos and engage in healthcare questionnaires or surveys.

Plenty of healthcare apps grant easy access to them on one platform — ideal for patients and staff alike. In fact, 77% of health IT leaders are investing in enhanced patient portals or mobile apps to improve patient and staff experiences. 

So, how are patient engagement apps changing the face of patient care?

  1. More options for entertainment and connection
  2. Reduced costs
  3. Better education for patients
  4. Full visibility for patients
  5. Improved patient experience


More options for entertainment and connection

Patient entertainment apps offer a diverse range of content, catering to various interests and preferences, ensuring patients remain engaged and content during their hospital stay.

From television shows, movies and interactive games to newspapers, magazines and eBooks, these apps provide a plethora of entertainment options to suit individual tastes. 

Whether a patient enjoys immersing themselves in the latest blockbuster film or prefers to unwind with a captivating novel, there's something available to keep them amused and mentally stimulated throughout their stay.

With apps like Skype, Messenger or Hangouts, patients can also see and speak to friends and family, keeping that vital line of connection open. This not only fosters emotional support but also alleviates feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are common experiences during hospitalisation. 

Facilitating regular interactions with friends and family contributes significantly to the overall well-being and psychological comfort of patients, fostering a sense of belonging and support during challenging times.


Reduced costs

One of the biggest benefits of implementing patient engagement apps is the reduction in cost for NHS Trusts. The annual cost of hospital food waste for the NHS is £230 million, equating to 39% of the total food budget. 

Going digital and linking a meal to a patient means that if they move beds or wards, their meal will be actioned accordingly — whether that’s a cancellation or redirection, depending on the situation. 

As a critical part of patient engagement, entertainment apps have also reduced the cost of physical magazines and newspapers. Having healthcare information easily available on an app means fewer physical resources, such as printed patient records, are necessary.

Not only can digitisation help reduce costs for the NHS, but it can also reduce costs for patients. Through access to free or subsidised entertainment options such as movies, games and educational content, patients can find solace and distraction during their healthcare journey without incurring additional expenses.

Health apps facilitate rapid communication, reducing the need for time-consuming phone calls or manual paperwork, allowing medical personnel to allocate more time to patient care. Nurse call apps enhance responsiveness to patient needs, leading to quicker interventions and potentially preventing adverse events. 

Through optimised workflows and enhanced coordination, these technological solutions contribute to operational efficiencies, ultimately driving down costs associated with inefficiencies and errors in healthcare delivery.


Better education for patients

With engagement apps, patients can easily access many resources in one place, including NHS choices, healthcare videos and literature. 

In a 2018 study, randomised patients with knee pain used either an educational app with structured interactive content or nothing before attending a specialist clinic. The study found that the app improved disease-related knowledge by 52% and perceived knowledge by 22%. 

These educational apps also help to make healthcare more efficient as any questions patients may have can be answered without staff intervention.



Full visibility for patients

Systems and apps can integrate with clinical solutions with PAS integration and/or HL7 integration, allowing clinicians to show their patients key health information.

Providing patients with this information allows them to better understand their health journey and gives them the autonomy to make important health decisions. Supporting patients to be actively involved in their healthcare journey has proven to boost patient safety and satisfaction while making better use of hospital resources. 

Staff can also use this system to access patient records and clinical systems, making the process smoother and more efficient.



Improved patient experience

Creating a better patient experience should be at the heart of every investment made by NHS Trusts. 

The most crucial aspect of this is gaining patient feedback. While entertainment is critical in patient engagement, having a platform where they can actively give feedback on their care ensures patients feel their voices are heard, allowing them to feel involved in making improvements. 

Apps that enable Trusts to gain feedback, including surveys and questionnaires, are therefore essential for patients. The process will initially enhance their experience and benefit the Trusts that require thoughtful, honest patient feedback.



Implementing patient engagement apps

By embracing these apps, healthcare organisations can take a significant step toward providing patient-centred care and ensuring positive patient and staff outcomes.

Ready to start implementing patient engagement apps but need help figuring out where to start? Download our product brochure, which tells you how we do everything for you.


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