When Miami Children’s Hospital Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Edward Martinez returned from a trip to a local history museum, he brought back an idea for an app — a GPS system to help patients get around the hospital. He liked the way a similar app worked at the museum and decided to test it at the healthcare facility.
As MobiHealthNews reported earlier this month, Fit4KidsCare has many features that aim to help patients and their families feel more comfortable while at the hospital and they recently added two more. The indoor location aware system enables step by step directions for getting around the hospital. The app also contains a food service feature so that families of patients could pay for and send meals to their loved one right from their phone.
“We have information desks where people check in — there’s a few of them,” Martinez told MobiHealthNews. “We are getting less and less questions — ‘how to get there,’ and ‘how to get here’ — so we know it’s being used,”
Martinez said the next thing they will add to the app is video content within the app that will help patients better understand how to keep up with a medication regimen or follow the doctor’s advice after they leave the hospital.
“We are launching a product in the next couple weeks that will have full video content, it will also include discharge instructions,” Martinez said. “One of the biggest issues with any given hospital, whether adult or children, is the discharge instructions are usually not heard clearly or not understood completely and so this is an opportunity for us to tie the discharge to the mobile device.”
While still a far off prospect, Martinez and his team are interested in adding a gaming feature to the discharge process to help obese kids stick to a healthy schedule and remember to exercise. The process would entail introducing the kids to a game that would include a fitness component so advancing in the game is a direct effect of getting exercise. With many products on the market that offer these kinds of services already, Martinez sees an opportunity to either purchase, partner or build it in-house.
While meaningful use requirements around patient engagement are top of mind in healthcare circles these days, Martinez said his team didn’t have those in mind when building the app.
“It will have some overlapping benefits, for example a discharge app that’s part of the meaningful use criteria,” Martinez said. “We started developing these things before meaningful use criteria [came out], it’s part of our roadmap and it does have some overlap, which was good. It will help us with meaningful use stage two criteria but it is not directly related.”