Extending the Primary Care Connection Through Mobile Experiences

October 6, 2014
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Jamey Shiels

Jamey Shiels
Aurora Healthcare

Jamey Shiels

Jamey Shiels
Aurora Healthcare

[SHSMD14 Speaker Podcast Series] Jamey Shiels, Senior Director eBusiness for Aurora Healthcare, talks with Lonnie Hirsch, Co-Founder of Healthcare Success about Creating Mobile Experiences to Extend Primary Care Engagement, which is the topic of Jamey’s presentation at the 2014 SHSMD Connections meeting.

Mobile strategies present unique opportunities to engage patients outside of the traditional clinical settings.

“The device is in their hand, and there’s a great opportunity to understand what mobile means to your long term digital strategy, and that’s going to be critical to success,” Aurora Healthcare’s Jamey Shiels tells us in today’s podcast conversation with Lonnie Hirsch.

As part of our continuing SHSMD14 speaker series, some of the points in Jamey’s presentation include:

  • How Aurora planned and launched it’s specialized app for primary care patients;
  • Understanding the “buy vs. build” options;
  • Providing content, game mechanics and other features that truly engage the user; and
  • Determining the best course for going forward with future releases.

listen now podcast interviewExtending the Primary Care Connection Through Mobile Experiences

SHSMD14 Podcast Healthcare Success Jamey Shiels Aurora Healthcare

Mobile health is a big space, and healthcare organizations need to look at making strategic decisions around buy vs. build vs. partner in reaching this significant and growing segment. Consumers have high expectations have high expectations about how mobile can help them. Lonnie Hirsch and Jamey Shiels talk about Aurora Healthcare’s experience in extending the primary care with a unique patient app, Aurora MyPath:

LONNIE HIRSCH: Aurora Health Care has launched a mobile app to extend the primary care relationship. Can you tell us what inspired your organization to develop this app?

JAMEY SHIELS: Mobile has been a hot area for, not only us, but for a lot of healthcare organizations. And as part of our mobile strategy, we spend quite a lot of time in understanding the right way to enter the market, is this a “buy vs. build” option, and what is the right strategic alignment to drive this app forward in a meaningful way.

The mobile app that we developed is designed to extend the relationship—outside the office—between primary care physicians and their patients. The app focus is on using content, game mechanics, and other features to engage a variety of users in that healthcare journey.

LH: Do the primary care offices interact with patients through the app?

JS: In our Release One, physicians promote the app in their offices via handout cards and QR codes that allow people to download the app. The long-term plan—and what we heard from users—is, for this to be really meaningful, it does need to integrate with the patient’s health record or be sharable with the physician via email. We have plans for multiple releases beyond the initial, core functionality of the first release.

In our planning and research, was the big idea is really around the small things. It’s the patient’s little decisions and the little activities that incrementally start to change behavior and make people feel good about what they’re doing…small but healthy choices.

LH: What other ways do you promote the app?

JS: Promotion is on the home page of our flagship website, plus cards, flyers, email promotions, in-clinic display, signage, QR Codes…we use a lot of internal vehicles to promote the app.

It’s interesting, as healthcare providers look at the mobile health space; it’s a very, very, very, very competitive area. There are over 23,000 mobile health apps in iTunes, with 16,000 of those being consumer-oriented.

Our beta app was designed to dip our toe in the water and to understand activities and behaviors, and to help us decide, from a longer perspective, should we invest the time, energy and resources in building our own suite of apps, or is it the right choice to partner with other organizations who are already in the space and have greater resources to leverage.

This has been a learning exercise for us, to understand the nature of the competitive space, what’s the effort required to build and support an application like this, and out side of that, looking at the content strategy, game mechanics and other functionality and expertise to support this kind of application.

For our listeners who will be at the SHSMD 2014 conference, be sure to attend Jamie Shiels’ presentation titled: Creating Mobile Experiences to Extend Primary Care Engagement, Tuesday, October 14th at 2:45 PM.

This article and podcast are part of Healthcare Success Strategies’ continuing education series featuring speakers at the upcoming Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, SHSMD CONNECTIONS 2014 conference in San Diego, October 12-15. Meet up with Lonnie Hirsch at the Healthcare Success Booth #904 in the exhibit hall.