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have meant obtaining approval from the practices
and their patients to gather and store the infor-
mation, as well as approval from patients as to
whether they wanted to participate.
“MobileSmith is primarily designed to push
information, which works very well for us.
Patients can simply download the app and enter
only their due date, which prompts the delivery
of information based on that date,” Poppish says.
After first looking at a custom app built on the
platform, leaders quickly realized that using the
vendor’s Blueprint program would get the app up
and running quickly (see “Design Goals”). Tem-
plates can be modified with hospital-specific
branding and content.
“We were able to go to market in a matter of
weeks rather than months once we had the con-
tent shaped and the layouts finalized,” Poppish
recalls. “The team at MobileSmith was extremely
responsive and helpful and turned things around
faster than we expected every time.”
For content, the OB/GYN department
adapted the existing 16-page booklet that
contained all the required information and was
usually provided to patients when they received
a prenatal visit.
After the SSH Babies app was released to
Google and Apple app stores, marketing efforts
commenced within the hospital and among
private practices. Messaging focused on how SSH
Babies helps expecting moms contact the hospi-
tal directly to ask questions, find information, or
clarify policies such as rooming-in or to schedule
visits and tours. Maternity nurses were shown how
to explain postpartum instructions with moms in
the hospital while the mom uses her phone.
As with any new product, uptake was slow at
first, and then app adoption picked up. Currently,
from 300 to 400 women use the app, with about
120 new users each month. Printing costs have
been cut in half to $1,500 a month as women opt
to use the app.
The fiscal year 2016 baseline for the hospital
ranking score put SSH in the 53rd percentile
before SSH Babies was deployed. Improvements
in the metric were seen immediately, rising to as
high as the 90th percentile, a 70% improvement.
Over the past three quarters, the hospital has
ranked in the 80th percentile, a 51% gain over
The care transitions score also improved
dramatically. From a 2016 baseline at the 43rd
percentile, SSH has seen scores top the 88th
percentile. During the past three quarters, the
score has averaged in the 75th percentile, a 74%
gain over the baseline score.
In addition, the hospital tracks other key performance indicators, such as monthly printing
costs, average total users per month, and average new users per month.
Comparing results from the latest two quarters shows a slight drop in scores for both
metrics. Poppish is awaiting results from the
next quarter to determine whether the dip is an
anomaly, but his department is already redoubling efforts to keep the app front and center
among referring practices, maternity nurses,
and expectant moms.
During the design process, South Shore Hospital focused
heavily on the “Likelihood to Recommend” HCAHPS question,
setting a modest goal of a 13% improvement. Administrators
did not believe its baseline score accurately reflected the
quality of care provided to birthing mothers and their families. One reason for the score, they believed, pertained to
patient-specific communication and proper management of
expectations. A maternity-specific mobile app could be tailored to address both issues.
The design process provided a chance to refine data and
present it in a mobile-friendly way. It also spurred app
enhancements, such as hospital tour/class schedules and a
pediatrician finder of providers affiliated with the SSH System.