Private healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente has launched its first smartphone app, a signal of its ambitions to boost its mobile strategy in the future. The iPhone app is called KP Locator and is available free of charge through Apple’s App Store. The app enables users to locate their nearest Kaiser hospital or other facility by combining the provider’s facility directory – one of its most popular online tools – with the iPhone’s onboard GPS.
Kaiser’s next step in its mobile app strategy is to optimise users’ personal health records for mobile handsets. The aim is to make that service available later this year.
KP Locator is the company’s first excursion into apps but not its first mobile experience. It has been using SMS to deliver appointment reminders for two years.
Having a mobile capability enables users to access Kaiser services when they are on the move. It’s also a way to reach those users without a home PC. The company says its analysis shows that more than 14 percent of visits to its website are actually from users via their mobile phones,
And it saves money too, says Phil Fasano (pictured), Kaiser Permanente’s executive vice president and chief information officer. “Mobile solutions also address the rising costs of health care by giving members access to routine information and services without staff intervention, making interactions more convenient, personal and effective,”