54% of patients want to use an app to communicate with healthcare providers

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New research has found that despite massive investment and considerable demand, just 2% of patients admitted to the largest hospitals in the U.S. are using custom-made health apps provided by the facility. The data comes from Accenture, and it continues to estimate that each hospital could be losing $100m in revenue each year because of it.

Part of a study that encompassed 100 U.S. hospitals and the use of apps the research states that 54% of patients want to use their smartphones to communicate with healthcare providers. It was also shown only 11% provide an app that covers demands made by patients, These are, according to Accenture:

  • Medical record access
  • Book, change or cancel appointments
  • Order repeat prescriptions

However, apps are being provided by 66% of hospitals, and 38% of them have proprietary apps for patients.

Accenture’s research shows healthcare providers aren’t meeting patient’s needs with mobile apps

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Brian Kalis, Accenture’s health practice director, said:

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“Simply having a mobile app is not enough. Hospital apps are failing to engage patients by not aligning their functionality and user experience with what consumers expect and need. Consumers want ubiquitous access to products and services as part of their customer experience, and those who become disillusioned with a provider’s mobile services – or a lack thereof – could look elsewhere for services.”

The research data says 7% of patients have switched to an alternative healthcare provider when customer service doesn’t reach expectations, and that includes apps and web chat channels. It’s this loss of business that contributes to the $100m revenue drain, and Accenture points out that if unaddressed, the percentage of patients changing provider may increase to rival the 9% seen by mobile phone providers, or 11% by cable TV services.

You can find Accenture’s complete Losing Patience healthcare app report here.

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