When It Comes to Digital Wayfinding, Are App Downloads Slowing Patients Down?

by Megan Fisher, Wednesday, May 24, 2023

When It Comes to Digital Wayfinding, Are App Downloads Slowing Patients Down?

At Eyedog.US we believe strongly that better wayfinding has a powerful impact on hospital communities. We continually ask: how can we adapt to improve the experiences of patients, visitors, and staff? When we came across Gensler’s report: An Easier Hospital, we were immediately excited to see someone else asking that same question: “Can better wayfinding improve the patient, visitor, and staff experience in healthcare settings?” We agree with Gensler that the answer is yes; they write, “Wayfinding is an important yet often underperforming aspect of many healthcare environments, potentially hindering the patient, visitor, and staff experience.” 

So, why is wayfinding underperforming in the healthcare setting? 

The common use of mobile apps to provide digital wayfinding, and other services relevant to the healthcare environment, require too much time and attention from users, who (in a clinical setting) are likely experiencing heightened stress and anxiety. In such a setting, we find that apps create a barrier that makes access to a digital wayfinding solution difficult, eroding the trust required to build a positive experience. In his Imaginovation Insider article, “Developing a Healthcare App in 2023: What Do Patients Really Want?” Michael Georgiou writes, “if your mobile app requires patients to spend a long time figuring out how it works, they’ll no longer use it. It’s that simple.” We agree completely, and extend the sentiment a bit farther: high quality digital resources, in our case wayfinding, should be accessible without requiring an app download at all, which removes barriers for users, and allows them to access the assistance they need, without surrendering time and attention to the logistics of accessing that assistance. Existing adoption barriers, like password struggles, complicated app UI, etc. are preventing patients from using valuable technology. When we offer digital wayfinding without requiring users to download a mobile app, we better provide the resources our patients need, without the frustration. 

While 65% of consumers are regularly using mobile apps for services like banking, travel, and shopping, only 20% are using mobile apps in the healthcare setting. What does this show us? What works in other settings (like banking and shopping) does not work the same way in the healthcare environment. A users’ frame of mind while shopping is vastly different than when they are seeking medical care; and, those differences should be addressed in the ways we provide digital resources. A simple and innovative way to reach patients where they are, resolve their challenges, and improve their experiences, is to provide digital wayfinding without requiring an app download. Everyone gets what they need, with no lost time and attention. It’s possible. Contact us - let’s start now!