Let’s face it -- in today’s world, we are constantly moving, not just from place to place, but from project to project, throughout the entire day. Even when we’re based in one place (home or office), we are changing topics and thoughts quickly, moving through the completion of work we need to do and other requirements of daily life with smartphones.
Speaking of smartphones -- we are on them almost all day long in many cases, and if not, we are moving from computer to smartphone use consistently, using our phones to answer questions from coworkers, family, and friends while we’re taking a quick break from work or grabbing lunch down the street. Let’s discuss mobile-first, what it means, and how patients and physicians are using their smartphones to conduct healthcare business and communicate.
Although cellphones were once considered a security risk that HIPAA seeks to eradicate, improved security means that mobile phones have taken over patient and physician communications. As security improves and EHR becomes part and parcel of the healthcare industry, more and more people and healthcare professionals are using their smartphones to send information or ask questions about medical records and histories, as well as suggestions for treatment.
What is Mobile-First Design?
Mobile-first design is web design for the smallest screen -- that’s right, the one on your smartphone. We all know how frustrating it can be to go to your healthcare website for answers and find that the design isn’t really accessible or easy to use from your phone. As more and more people use smartphones and gain access to them, for work, play, healthcare, and other parts of their lives, mobile-first design and technology has blazed to the forefront of EHR and healthcare practice website design.
Mobile-first requires responsive and adaptive design that fits the way patients, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals need to use EHRs and access information on a regular basis while on the go. Mobile design is also the hardest type of web design, and takes the longest -- another reason not to procrastinate in the design of your EHR (this is known as “progressive enhancement” or designing for mobile first with the essential parts of the website only). “Graceful degradation” is designing the website with full functionality, and then stripping away the unnecessary pieces to make smartphone access work easily for patients and physicians. Prioritizing the correct content is a key part of this process.
How do Medical Patients Use Mobile-First?
Patients want and need access to multiple parts of the EHR and your website. Some of the things they need to access are:
- Prescription information
- Appointment setting and review
- Past medical records
- Physician and nurse information
Mobile-first can provide this access, increasing point-of-care coordination by helping patients understand their medical issues, prescription proper use, and instructions for self care. If they have questions, patients can communication with a medical professional, even when their physician or nurse is unavailable, and answer basic questions about medications and healthcare they need to know. Patients can also access their own medical records through EHRs and find information they need for a different physician, nurse, or procedure quickly and accurately. Mobile-first access makes busy patient lives a little easier when medical issues or questions pop up.
How do Physicians & Nurses Use Mobile-First?
For physicians and nurses, this same quick access to EHRs and patient information can decrease the amount of time they spend on their laptops, enabling device use as they move from practice to practice or from organization to organization. Physicians are some of the busiest people on earth, and they need accuracy and EHR access at their fingertips at all times. Mobile-first design and tech increases:
- Seamless data flow
- Direct patient management
- Physician, nurse, and healthcare professional efficiency
- Diagnostic accuracy
- Real-time communication
Mobile-first is the future of web design and healthcare information technology, and smartphones are here to stay. Tied in with an excellent marketing plan, mobile-first technology can improve the lives of patients and make access to medical records a matter of a few smartphone clicks, instead of long phone calls to providers. It also makes the lives of physicians and other healthcare professionals easier and faster.
Let's chat and put the Hult Team’s inbound experience to work for you. You can reach me at either 309-673-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and together, we can grow your healthcare Brand.