New York-Presbyterian Hospital launches patient app, plans to add video visits feature

By Aditi Pai

The New York-Presbyterian Hospital has announced the launch of a new app, called NewYork-Presbyterian, that is designed to improve a patient’s access to the hospital as well as communication between the hospital and patients.

“There are a lot of apps out there and there are a lot of healthcare apps, but I think it’s very confusing to the end user, to the patient,” NYP Chief Innovation Officer Peter Fleischut told MobiHealthNews. “I think there needs to be a more comprehensive guide for patients to be able to navigate the healthcare system and make it a bit easier. So if there are new features and functionalities, they don’t have to need to know to go to multiple different apps. They can just go to one source for their information.”

The New York-Presbyterian app currently allows users to locate a physician, find contact information for appointment scheduling and questions, get directions to the hospital, pay bills, and connect with the hospital on Twitter. But over time, the hospital plans to add many more features.

“This has been in our vision, in our plan — to be able to provide this access to patients, to improve communication, improve information to navigation of the hospitals, and make it easier for mobile bill pay,” Fleischut said. “And this is really just the start of the way that I think that we are reaching out to our patients and extending our patients outside of the hospital.”

The tools offered in the app right now are simple, Fleischut said, but as the year progresses New York-Presbyterian plans to add more comprehensive features. One such feature will be video visits with physicians, which will be used as a follow-up to patients’ in office appointments or used for remote patient monitoring. He expects to add new features to the app every four to six weeks.

Fleischut plans to use an existing patient-facing communication tool — a texting offering that NYP launched about six months ago — as one way to spread the word about the new app.

“If you were to come in for an operation, you would be able to give your loved one’s phone number to the registration desk and while you are having your operation, it sends automated messaging to your loved one’s phone number updating them on the real time status of what’s going on,” Fleischut explained. He added that the texting program has been highly successful so far.

Although Fleischut is using the number of app downloads as one measure of the app’s success, he said he is also going to track usage and engagement to see how many times users come back to the app after they first download it.

“It’s one thing to get initial downloads but I’m more interested in being able to engage with our users,” Fleischut said. “How long are they staying in the application? How frequently are they coming back to the application? And embedded in a lot of our new features, we are going to be asking very directed questions in terms of how satisfied they are with the use of the application and gearing it towards satisfying the patient.”