In this case study

Star ratings based on patient experience are key to the health of hospitals. Consumers use them to determine where to go for treatment and the federal government uses them to divvy up funds.

A large healthcare system was seeing a rise in unacceptable star ratings. Patient surveys reported poor guest Wi-Fi access and difficulty navigating facilities, which was directly impacting the level of funding available to its hospitals. Executive leadership wanted Wi-Fi to work seamlessly and to create application experiences that addressed the concerns in survey feedback.

IT leadership reached out to WWT to help solve these problems. We listened to their goals and requirements and saw an opportunity to support their new patient experience initiative by leveraging technology. The health system subsequently created a pilot program to prove the value of our recommendations, which were centered on enhancing guest wireless and wayfinding to strengthen both patient and visitor experiences.

Strengthening the hospital network

First, we performed extensive ideation work in whiteboard sessions, workshops, demonstrations and discussions around each solution component and the feasibility of implementation. We proposed a focus on branding and improved guest internet access using wireless networking, a wayfinding mobile application platform and location analytics, to create a new patient experience.

After testing wireless solutions using a proof of concept (POC) in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC), the customer decided to implement Cisco Core Wireless to strengthen patient and visitor connectivity.

We then partnered with Phunware to create a mobile application centered around location accuracy, user analytics, mobile SDKs and Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) beacons to gather granular location data on patients and visitors.

Improving the patient experience

WWT offered a strategic and cost-effective way to improve the patient experience through a comprehensive solution that included software, support, hardware and installation services. Bluetooth and wireless capabilities are now in deployment across the health system's 39 facilities.

Network and application-based data analytics provided insights into patient and visitor trends. Data — including number of visitors, wait times and navigation difficulties — identifies pain points within the network.

Using data analytics, the healthcare system can pinpoint wireless capability needs, engage with waiting patients and visitors using mobile notifications, and determine where additional navigational aids are needed.

Star ratings have already improved for the healthcare system based on recent customer experience surveys. The use of guest Wi-Fi has increased significantly, and application downloads have exceeded expectations.

The initial standalone wayfinding application provided these features and more for visitors. Over time, however, the organization realized that to deliver a consistent experience to patients, visitors and physicians, they needed to integrate wayfinding functionality with its main consumer-facing application (and enhance that application's capabilities).

A consistent mobile experience

The healthcare system tapped software developers from WWT to integrate the features and functionality from the wayfinding application into their main consumer-facing application.

While working to integrate the wayfinding functionality, we recognized that there were broader issues to address in the client's user interface and user experience components, in their overall code for both iOS and Android applications, and in the application delivery pipeline. These issues prevented developers from easily and frequently releasing code into production environments, thus slowing their ability to generate new digital experiences.

Native software development

We quickly realized that the organization needed more than a contractor who just took orders and built code. They needed a partner who willing to say push back, suggest new ideas and quickly drive the desired business outcomes.

We began assessing their entire value creation ecosystem. We then proposed several ideas for how we could help them innovate and deliver value to consumers at a much faster pace, including by implementing our approach to agile software development. Our team then applied a modern "test-drive" development and test automation suite to build confidence in the digital offering.

We also found that the cadence for regular feedback from users could be increased to ensure that what was built aligned to the needs and outcomes for both the healthcare system and its customers.

A team of approximately 16 WWT software developers is now supporting the healthcare system's consumer-facing application and physician productivity tools. Both tools allow hospital visitors and staff to more easily find the necessary care, schedule and view appointments, and better understand electronic health records.

Dynamic software solutions for healthcare

Software development involves more than creating new application features — it's essentially the process by which we generate outcomes. By first stabilizing the existing code base, user experience, delivery pipelines and security, we enable organizations to innovative faster and more quickly drive revolutionary ideas in the future.

Combining a secure network with new experiences — like wayfinding, push notifications and tools to help physician productivity — makes it easier for visitors and staff to navigate hospitals.

Going forward, this healthcare system has established objectives for improving the security, performance, extensibility and maintainability of their code base. Our decades of experience in the technology and healthcare industries will continue to provide value for the healthcare system as it looks to improve overall user experience and quickly turn ideas into outcomes.

Learn about WWT's mobility capabilities today.
Wireless Location Workshop