HIMSS15: Mobile tools drive greater patient engagement, healthcare cost savings

A new survey reveals robust mHealth technology adoption with 90 percent of healthcare providers using mobile devices for patient engagement and 54 percent reporting a related cost savings.

App-enabled patient portals are the top mHealth tech deployment by 74 percent of those polled. Telehealth (62 percent), text communications (57 percent) and remote patient monitoring (49 percent) are the other three top mHealth strategies taking root. The results of the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey were announced during the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference in Chicago. Nearly 240 healthcare providers were polled for the survey.

"mHealth continues to evolve as a tool to drive healthcare efficiencies," David Collins, senior director of the HIMSS mHealth Community, said in an announcement on the results. "This year's survey showed that the wide spread availability of mobile technology has had a positive impact on the coordination of patient care."

The top barrier to mHealth tech, as expressed by 51 percent of respondents, is budgetary investment. Yet 54 percent acknowledge mobile tech fosters cost savings derived from preventative support care (24 percent), telehealth (23 percent) and more efficient resource use (21 percent).

Positive impact to patient care was cited by 51 percent of respondents because of interventions such as teleradiology and using remote patient monitoring tools for improved care coordination.

"The use of wireless and mobile technologies continues to be of interest to providers and health systems as they try to engage patients in their healthcare and not only deliver high quality care, but respond to government directives, such as Meaningful Use, guidance from the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] and Medicare reimbursement requirements," the survey's executive summary reads.

Close to 60 percent of respondents to last year's survey reported that their organizations had mobile technology plans in place. The 2014 survey included responses from 170 provider organization representatives..

The HIMSS survey notes that in looking ahead, 83 percent of respondents believe their organizations should deploy mobile devices and 30 percent reported being in the process of developing an organization-specific app.

For more information:
- read the HIMSS announcement
- read the HIMSS executive summary (.pdf)