Testing the Benefits of a Smartphone Application on Patient Satisfaction in an Outpatient Clinic.I already have a 25-page capstone, professor says the paper looks good, however, I need to insert more details in the lit review stating “evidence of a smartphone vs. in-person survey.” talk about the advantages and disadvantages and tie everything to the discussion section “strengths and limitations”. Create proper Conclusion Complete a professional quality written report describing the approach and outcome of the research study. I would say 3 pages.The Benefits of a Smartphone Application on Patient Satisfaction in an Outpatient ClinicIntroductionThe recent upsurge in the availability of healthcare-related applications in commercial outlets, for example, Google, demonstrates the expanding role of healthcare applications (Bin Dhim, Hawkey, & Trevena, 2015).  The term used to refer to the concept of using mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones for health applications is mHealth. mHealth is a category of eHealth, which refers to digital technology used in medicine and public health (Dicianno et al., 2014). The purpose of this paper is to introduce the topic of smartphone applications in healthcare and to establish the importance and the success of developing a smartphone application to assess patient satisfaction regarding an outpatient clinic.The significance of developing a smartphone application to assess patient satisfaction is twofold. First, assessing patient satisfaction is an essential element in continuing to improve patient care. Second, as this paper will demonstrate below, there is a need for well-designed smartphone applications related to healthcare. Smartphone technology has the potential to revolutionize the way health information is managed, including surveys on patient satisfaction. The major benefit of mHealth is the rapid transmission of information between healthcare professionals and patients and the ability to monitor health outcomes. This application will, in part, be essential in collecting patient’s feedback about their health delivery experience. The data collected will be crucial for the care givers in developing more suitable and effective services that are needed and are satisfying to the patients.Smartphones are an advance over mobile phones. They offer all the voice and text communication facilities standard with mobile phones with advanced functions such as advanced computing, geo-positioning capabilities, and internet access. Smartphones also have user-friendly advantages such as touch screens, greater resolution, high quality cameras, personal management instruments, large memories, and internal keyboards. Current smartphones more closely resemble handheld computers rather than communication devices (Boulos, Wheeler, Tavares, & Jones, 2011).  The success of smartphone applications might be related to the fact that the devices are used worldwide. According to Smith (2017), approximately 77% of Americans possess smartphones, with individuals of ages 50 and above showing an upside increase in its usage over the last two years.  In addition, more than 12% of Americans have indicated their dependency on smartphone use. Similarly, Summers and Reed (2018) indicated that smartphone applications have been on the rise with an increase of over 40% in the last ten years. By the end of 2016, the number of smartphone healthcare application downloads had increased by 5% (Smith, 2017), clearly indicating an increased dependency on these applications. As the population ages, the need for health applications and devices will only increase. The clear advantage that smartphones have over other communication devices in the healthcare field is their portability and sufficient computing capacity to support the multimedia software programs (Boulos, et al., 2011).The elderly and those with language barriers are underserved by mHealth technology. However, this problem has continuously been resolved by offering smartphones and smartphone applications user manuals in language and instructions that are easily understood by these minority groups. Summers and Reed (2018) stated that tailoring smartphone applications to the needs and understanding of the elderly has boosted its uptake; and has also increased the use of smartphone applications because they offer a user-friendly platform, which includes several languages and modes of instruction. Other challenges to the use of smartphones to collect survey data is the cost of the smartphone itself.  Katz, Mesfin, and Barr (2012) found that despite providing the participants with rebates to purchase smartphones and services to be able to conduct the study, the dropout rate was still high because of the cost of the smartphones. The high costs could hinder the viability of smartphones usage in the healthcare field; however, like any novel technology, it is likely that the prices of smartphones will decrease in the future. For instance, International Data Corporation estimates that smartphones will retail at $304 in 2017 (IDC Press Release, 2013).  It is further expected that the price of smartphones with basic applications will drop drastically as those with more complex features are developed. The use of the healthcare application will only require the smartphones with basic features, which are affordable and will cost even less in the near future.Smartphone communication might as well transform the way healthcare is managed and health data is collected and communicated.  To date, research has been conducted on the potential of smartphones for digital diaries to support symptom research, text messages to aid the management of healthcare behaviors, and improving patient adherence to regimes (Boulos, et al., 2011).  Van Singer, Chatton and Khazaal (2015) stated that although the potential offered by application technology is considerable, the current commercial healthcare-related applications available in stores today tend to be poor quality and are equated with the proliferation of poor quality “medical” websites.  Evidently, some application designers did not wait for the scientific research results on the appropriateness of the application for the target user or medical situation (Van Singer, Chatton, & Khazaal, 2015). Therefore, there is a need for oversight in the functionality of mHealth and for the development of well-designed and evaluated health applications.The report by Agarwal, et al. (2015) on patients’ adoption of mHealth in the U. S. indicated that the use of smartphones in the delivery of healthcare is widespread now and increasing. For instance, the number of healthcare applications have doubled over the past two years, and the applications have more features, such as being able to connect with social networks, sensors, or devices. Wicklund (2018) reported on the 2010 implementation of an mHealth system used as a messaging platform for coordinating care services post-discharge, lab results, and patient satisfaction surveys. It explains how CityMD, based in Manhattan, partnered with mPulse Mobile, based in Seattle, on an automated patient messaging, which was crucial in advancement of using smartphone applications in healthcare delivery and feedback. The response rate from the patients increased from 10% to a drastic 60%, when the CityMD opted to contact patients through mPulse rather than the telephones. These studies, (Agarwal et al, 2015; Wicklund, 2018)  are a clear indication that these healthcare and wellness applications, such as mPulse, will easily penetrate the market; and be installed by the millions of smartphone users. Besides, these studies are encouraging because of the fact that the application is dependent on smartphone use, (Agarwal, et al.,2015; Wicklund,2018).  Contacting patients by landline resulted in a 10% response rate, a very low rate that is insignificant in making crucial health delivery decisions.  In contrast, contacting patients by mPulse mobile resulted in a 60% response rate, a significant number that is crucial in making health delivery decisions. The data was gathered over the 8 months by contacting the regular patients.  It is, therefore, essential that a smartphone application that can act as a link between the patient and the caregiver is developed. This application would be a game changer in health care delivery and overall patient satisfaction.While mHealth has been used extensively in health care delivery, little attention has been directed to specifically examining the use of smartphones in patient satisfaction surveys. One of the few studies conducted in this field was by Strickler and Lopiano (2016) to assess how the respondents reacted to unique technology. Strickler and Lopiano (2016) conducted a study to examine the differences between the responders and non-responders to a patient satisfaction survey email versus that on a smartphone of the Emergency Department’s patients. The study found that the active survey responders tended to be teenagers and adults between the ages of 21 to 35 years, White and Asian, and female. Moreover, analysis by payor classification showed that those with Workers’ Compensation and commercial health benefits plan were amongst more active responders. The authors concluded that email and smartphone patient satisfaction surveys are likely to underrepresent Blacks, Hispanics, self-payors, and Medicaid recipients.Agarwal, et al. (2015) suggested that in order to be useful, the smartphone application should have basic functions. The application needs to support multimodal formats for delivering information, for example texts, videos, and photos.  As a survey needs to provide instructions, these also need to be supported by multimodal formats. The application needs to have the ability to capture the data input by the end-user. The input data needs to be graphically displayed. Finally, the end-user needs a way to communicate with the researchers conducting the survey.Literature ReviewThe increase in the emergence and availability of healthcare-related apps signify the fact that dependence on healthcare applications has increased. mHealth is the word used when describing the use of health applications on telecommunication apparatus such as smartphones, and tablets. It’s also referred to as the digital technology utilized in both medicine and public health (Bin Dhim, Hawkey, & Trevena, 2015: Torous, Wisniewski, Lui, & Keshavan, 2018). The discussion that will be featured in this paper will be on the benefits of a smartphone application on patient satisfaction in an outpatient clinic. The need for carrying out studies on patient or client satisfaction emanates from the desire to make the services and care being currently offered to be better in future.The health-related applications are run on telecommunication apparatus referred to as smartphones. These apparatuses are said to exhibit features that enhance user experience which include, touch screens which enable easy navigation and huge storage space for the documents and multimedia as well as cameras with elevated standards. Dicianno et al. (2015) stated that these apparatus are owned and operated by almost 77% of Americans. With this number of people using smartphones, it means that if the apps that evaluate patient satisfaction are installed in all these devices a lot of information will be garnered with regard to patient satisfaction in outpatient departments across the hospitals that operate in the US. However, the apps that are employed in evaluating patient satisfaction in outpatient departments have been found not to be fully utilized by the elderly, as well as those that have a challenge in understanding the languages in the smartphones that host the apps, due to the fact that they are different from their own languages. However, some measures to address the issue of underutilizing the patient satisfaction apps such as giving the apps languages that can be understood by different people have been enacted (Summers & Reed, 2018).It is worth to note that studies show that less effort has been directed towards evaluating the utilization of smartphone apps in patient satisfaction surveys. This will be tackled in this paper with the main focus being on the benefits of smartphone apps with regard to patient satisfaction in an outpatient clinic.  According to Agarwal (2015), just like many tech companies got the pressure to convert the software they had originally developed to mobile application in order to tap into the market share of the booming mobile internet use, so did the health sector embrace this trend. Previously, the different departments in the health care industry had come up with patient portals on top of taking record keeping to the digital domain, all aimed at bettering ways of engaging with patients.Uses of Different Health-Related Smartphone ApplicationsThere are many applications that have been developed to aid patients in tracking signs of diseases. Such an application is of great benefit to the patient as it helps him/her to note whether the symptoms are deteriorating or increasing (Wicklund, 2018). When the symptoms are increasing, the patient will at once notify the doctor in charge of the patient for immediate attention (Chandrashekar, 2018). On the other hand, if the symptoms decline, then it will signify that the disease is being contained. Some of these applications are designed to take care of the fitness of patients, as well as their nutrition. According to Bin Dhim, Hawkey, & Trevena, (2015), the other apps that have been developed in this category include features that show the occurrences of certain diseases, and the occurrence of important signs that should be noted.Categories of Mobile Health ApplicationsDifferent smartphone applications are grouped in a number of categories with regard to their functionality, as far as medical care is concerned (Wicklund, 2018). Drug reference applications are grouped among the top most useful apps in healthcare.  This category takes into account functions, such as the names of various medications, information about the dosage for different groups of patients, contraindications and the amount charged for every type of drug. Second on the list are Disease Diagnosis smartphone applications.According to Wicklund (2018), these are applications that have been formulated to aid a patient to acquire examination to determine the type of ailment the patient is suffering from, and the type of treatment that would be most effective in managing the disease with just a few commands given to the smartphone via a few taps on the smartphone (Van Singer, Chatton, & Khazaal, 2015). These apps are also enhanced with a search toolbar, aimed at enabling the patient to access references with regard to the type of diagnosis made as additional information. The smartphone apps in this category also aid physicians to narrow down the otherwise wasteful large number of laboratory tests to just a few that will help in establishing the ailment of a patient, which helps to reduce the cost burden on the patients (Dicianno et al, 2015).The other category is the Medical calculators (Doyle-Lindrud, 2014). These types of applications are utilized in computing arithmetic related to clinical scores as well as indices like weight, the surface area covered by the body and the factors that predispose a patient to the coronary heart disease. Due to the complicated calculations that are involved in determining the right values for the above discussed phenomena, smartphone applications come in handy to help provide accurate computations (Garnweidner-Holme, Borgen, Garitano, Noll, & Lukasse, 2015). On the other hand, smartphone applications that are contained in the Clinical Communication category are utilized for executing the simple task of relaying information from one physician to the next one in a healthcare setting. These types have special features that facilitate certain modes of communication which include; video conferencing and messaging by the use of emails. These apps have gained popularity in the health care industry due to the efficiency and speed exhibited in the transfer of information while using this type of applications (Katz, Mesfin, & Barr, 2012).Another category of smartphones application is the hospital information systems. These applications are known to grant safe access to patient records in any part of the world because they have some connection to electronic medical records among other types of medical records.  The last category of applications is Medical Education and Teaching (Cheng & Chen, 2018). These types of smartphone applications mostly target the students in medicine, nursing and the other fields of health sciences. These apps enable the students in all departments of health science to access varied information as well as learning resources in whatever part of the world they are in (Wicklund, 2018).Benefits of Patient Satisfaction Survey ApplicationsPatient Satisfaction Survey App smartphone application is designed to help healthcare providers to carry out anonymous surveys with patients being the target respondents, with the aim of establishing the general patient experience. The first benefit that this app gives is the reduction of the hustle that is associated with trailing the customer satisfaction interviews manually (Wicklund, 2018). A lot of manpower and energy, as well as plenty of time is required in administering surveys that focus on customer satisfaction. This is because the recruitment of people to administer the surveys will be inevitable. The number of the personnel required for this kind of work will vary, depending on the size of the health organization that intends to carry out the survey.The time that will be required for the customer satisfaction survey to be completed will also influence the number of people to be recruited for the job. A study that needs to be done in a few days will need many people as compared to the one that takes a longer time. Time is also a factor on its own. Trailing customer surveys manually is a time-consuming factor due to the fact that a lot of time is consumed in order to reach all the intended patients for the survey. In other circumstances, accessing some patients may also be an issue because of the fact that people travel and are engaged in different activities. However, an app like the Patient Satisfaction Survey Mobile App saves the time required to administer a survey, as well as cutting down on the personnel needed in administering the study (Ventola, 2014).Flexibility of SurveysThe other benefit that a smartphone application has on patient satisfaction in an outpatient clinic, according to (Katz et al., 2012), is the flexibility of the surveys created by this app. The traditional manual questionnaires used for gathering information concerning patient satisfaction are rigid and cannot allow for any alterations. To add on, most of them are drafted with specifications of only one healthcare facility and cannot be used by another health care organization. The smartphone applications, however, are very flexible in terms of questionnaire formulation, as questions can be excluded and added for the convenience of the healthcare facility carrying out the customer satisfaction survey (Traber-Walker, Metzler, Gerstenberg, Walitza, & Franscini, 2018). Furthermore, the surveys generated by smartphones are very flexible as they can be altered to suit any health care organization which makes it easier to generate customer satisfaction surveys.Benefits of Other Smartphone Applications on Patient SatisfactionThe other benefit lies in convenience. Most people nowadays are known to use smartphones. In the US, it is estimated that 77% of people are said to own and use a smart phone (Smith, 2017). The smartphone holders are known to move around with their phones to every place they go since they are the most preferred means of accessing the internet in the current world. Therefore, at the convenience of their homes, offices, cars and even at their preferred holiday destinations patients can be able to participate in customer satisfaction surveys (Katz et al., 2012). This will also increase the probability of patients accepting to take part in a survey because their activities will not be disrupted. For instance, if a patient that seeks care from a certain outpatient facility is requested to take part in a customer satisfaction survey from his/her office at work through the phone, the chances that the patient will take part in the survey are high, as opposed to a person from the outpatient facility approaching the same patient during working hours to carry out the same survey.Furthermore, with the smartphone applications on customer satisfaction survey, after completion of every individual survey, the scores of satisfaction as recorded in individual surveys are conveyed back to the outpatient facility and saved electronically for the purpose of record keeping (Smith, 2017). This helps in keeping a clean and organized record even if the number of respondents involved in the survey is large, as compared to the traditional methods used in administering customer satisfaction surveys. The traditional way or administering customer satisfaction interviews are also marred with challenges such as loss of questionnaires or interview records, as well as the mix up of surveys which are not experienced when using the smartphone applications on customer satisfaction surveys.Transparency and Time ManagementThe other area of satisfaction, according to the testimonials given by some groups of patients was in settling bills. The process of offsetting outpatient care bills can be managed via smartphone applications. This mode of payment relieves the patients the burden of having to withstand long queues before making payment at the facility (Kailas, Chong, & Watanabe, 2010). In addition to this, the mobile applications have also introduced some form of transparency in the billing process by ensuring that various medical services accessed by a patient are listed against their respective prices, which gives the patient a better understanding of how their money has been spent. The patient can also monitor the schedule of the specialist with which he/she has scheduled an appointment with through the smartphone application (Shaw et al., 2016). Time monitoring will help the patient to hop into the office of the particular specialist with which he/she scheduled an appointment just at the right time. This app causes the patients to dedicate the time that could have otherwise been lost through navigating long queues before being served (Munavalli, 2017).The other benefit that is associated with smartphone applications on customer satisfaction in an outpatient facility is raising customer satisfaction scores. Applications that have been custom made to address the particular needs of the patients that visit a given outpatient have the potential to increase the scores in relation to customer satisfaction (Kalkan & Yigit, 2015). An app, for instance, which has compiled together information on different topics which may be of need to particular groups of patients, for example, material containing informational guides to lactating mothers will help so many lactating mothers to manage this period in their lives well. This information could be on the types of foods to be taken by a lactating mother, and actions to be performed by mothers to maintain good hygiene while lactating, among others. Although this type of information can be found on the internet, in most cases finding the correct information from an accredited source is difficult. Furthermore, the information may be scattered all over the internet requiring time to compile, or may be hidden. Therefore, making this information available to this group of people will significantly raise the scores from them in terms of patient satisfaction.Smartphone applications can also boost customer satisfaction by making the experience for patients visiting an outpatient facility for the first time great. This is usually made possible by the wayfinding applications on smartphones, which help to guide the people first visiting the facility to the place where it is located, and further to the parking lot of the facility. By giving precise guidelines concerning the location of the facility and various vital amenities on the facility such as the parking lot, the newcomers will be saved the embarrassment of getting lost even while navigating the inside of the premises.Capacity to Hold Large Amounts of DataThe other benefit that is associated with smartphone applications on customer satisfaction is the fact that health-related applications offer a large amount of data which exhibits high standards of quality as well (Lupton, 2014). It has also been established from the past that data that is of high quality leads to better decisions being made with regard to healthcare. When good decisions are made from quality data then the resulting feature will most definitely be improved patient outcomes (Strickler & Lopiano, 2016). Most mobile applications for example, those that are tailored to acquire customer satisfaction have the capacity to pick both physiological data which puts into account emotional factors as well as contextual data which focusses on the different situations that the patients are in, as well as their personal preferences (Lupton, 2014). They can also record usage data which, when utilized well can offer vital information as well as give guidelines for new workflows. It can also show faults that are embedded in certain strategies currently being employed by an outpatient facility and thereby inform changes with the aim of bettering service delivery.Time SavingOn the part of physicians, the utilization of health-related smartphone applications in care-related communications has had a number of benefits too. The first benefit, according to Kalkan, & Yigit (2015), is that the health-related applications cut down the time that is traditionally used by physicians to pass information. The saved extra time is then utilized by the physicians to give more attention to the patients which results to elevated standards of productivity. The findings of a certain study revealed that the productivity of physicians was heightened by the utilization of new digital communications. Furthermore, according to the medical professionals, decisions of advanced level quality with the capacity to minimize medical errors arise from the use of smartphone technology (Kalkan & Yigit, 2015). Additionally, the preferences of many patients in the current world of healthcare lean towards health care providers that can connect with them online.Customization of the ApplicationsThe other benefit associated with smartphone application on customer satisfaction in general is that one app can be tailored to suit different departments apart from the outpatient department, and can also be customized to address some phenomena other than the one it was originally designed for. This is especially possible for the mobile apps that are designed to carry customer satisfaction surveys. For instance, an app designed to evaluate customer satisfaction in the in-patient depart can be rearranged to be used to assess the same phenomenon in the outpatient department as is in this case (Kalkan & Yigit, 2015).To add on, the surveys can be created anywhere on any telecommunication device that is touch enabled, such as tablets and smartphones. This feature enables surveys of this type which are very crucial in determining the direction to be taken by a health care organization in the future, with regard to quality of care given to patients, to be executed with great precision (Vural, 2014).Need for Noise Control Smartphone ApplicationA concern about the noise pollution that takes place in most care giving organizations is also an area that can be alleviated, or rather be managed by smartphone applications. According to experts in the field of smartphone apps developers, there might not be an application with the ability to do away with the noise just yet, but there are other means that can be utilized to tackle the problem (Mohammadzadeh & Safdari, 2016). The workable solution that has been proposed by people in this field is to come up with an app that will capitalize on drawing the concentration of patients from the noise that is usually experienced in the various outpatient facilities, and directing to something else. This thing which is supposed to act as a distraction from the noise is supposed to be mind-catching and interesting so that it succeeds in grasping the attention of the patients. Some of the features of the app that can be able to successfully execute this task should be either soothing music or extremely interesting games.Success has already been established in this area with the WFBH Comprehensive Cancer Center App exhibiting a music feature whose main obligation is to play soothing music for patients, while they undergo treatment (Digiulio, 2014). This feature makes the patients to relax and feel like they have visited a new environment that offers relief from the noise experienced in the clinic setting. According to experts who have a lot of faith in the development of such an application to be used in the outpatient clinics, the application will have the ability to boost the morale of patients which will then result into high patient satisfaction.The benefits of a smartphone app are numerous. There are so many apps with different functions to play in the field of medical care, such as those meant for communication and those meant for diagnosis (Boulos, Wheeler, Tavares, & Jones, 2011). These apps are very important as they have the quality of boosting general productivity in the whole industry of health care. The smartphone applications are also able to lead to better patient satisfaction, which in turn boosts the patient satisfaction score. The smartphone apps as analyzed from the discussion have the ability to give quality data that if well analyzed, results into great decisions that define the landscape of medical care in the future (Strickler & Lopiano, 2016). The apps are also efficient and fast in facilitating physician to patient communication, as well as physician to physician communication. The only clear way to take the quality of health care to a whole new level is by trying to get patients to embrace the smartphone health-related applications, especially in the course of their visits (Agarwal, 2015).DiscussionThe Benefits of a Smartphone Application on Patient Satisfaction Survey in an Outpatient ClinicUsing smartphones to conduct a patient satisfaction survey at an outpatient clinic carries with it several benefits that underscore the hypothesis of this study. It is evident that a smartphone application can be used to assess patient satisfaction regarding an outpatient clinic hence increase their commitment to healthcare and enable care providers to improve their services.Utilizing smartphones during the patient satisfaction survey has several benefits especially when it comes to storage and file sharing. For instance, cloud-based storage in addition to other file-sharing services plays a critical role in information management (Ventola, 2014). When using smartphones for such activities, it is easier to share documents or photographs, in addition to storing and updating files without the need for CDs or flash drives. The connection to cloud-based storage provides the user with a few gigabytes of memory, and additional space can be acquired after a subscription has been made (Baysari & Westbrook, 2010). Therefore, smartphones allow for instantaneous access of information from multiple devices (Leventhal, 2015). As a result, it is easier to collaborate and share materials during the survey. The use of smartphones in surveys has opened up new lines of communication between the patients and care providers, which offers the promise of streamlining the care process and enhance patient’s experience (Wagner, 2014). The strengths observed are similar to the ones noted in the literature review when evaluating the benefits of using a smartphone in a patient satisfaction survey in an outpatient clinic. The first benefit that this app gives is the reduction of the hustle that is associated with trailing the customer satisfaction interviews manually (Wicklund, 2018). Therefore, the use of smartphones is changing how patients scholars and care providers approach health-related issues with regard to how data is collected.The limitation of the study was time since it was conducted within a short period. Moreover, it was restricted to one outpatient clinic, which can raise issues with the generalization of the results. However, given the fact that the health system is common to all setups the study achieved both internal and external validity. However, when it comes to measurement validity, it is not possible to conclude the percentage of interviewers using smartphones or the degree of variation between surveys conducted traditionally and those using smartphones.The post Testing the Benefits of a Smartphone Application on Patient Satisfaction in an Outpatient Clinic. appeared first on Academic Essay Guru.

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