Best Mobile App

Mobile messaging eases concerns for parents whose children face surgery

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin employs text messages to smooth the patient journey before, during and after surgery.

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Mobile messaging is one of the hottest trends in communication these days. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin knew that text messages could be an effective way to make sure parents got relevant information about their children’s care at the right time. So they set out to get into the game in a big way—and wound up winning first place for “Best Mobile App” in Ragan’s our 2016 Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.

Children’s Hospital believed that text messages would increase parents’ comfort level with their children’s health journey better than an app would, ensuring compliance with pre-procedural protocols (a lot of procedures are canceled because the protocols aren’t followed) and reducing the number of post-procedural calls and unnecessary visits. 

The team pilot-tested the concept by entering the messages manually with a handful of families. A survey got rave reviews and good results—the pilot group didn’t call post-procedure a single time, nor did they visit urgent care or the ER. 

Parents can add any family members or friends to the distribution list, and specify whether they want messages sent pre-, post-, or intra-op. Ten procedures are active in the tool with another four pending. More than 700 families have used the tool, overwhelmingly agreeing that it was useful, easy to understand, provided information they hadn’t known before and reduced their anxiety or level of worry. 

The tool even attracted mainstream media attention. For brilliantly tapping into a cutting edge trend, congratulations to Neal Linkon and Brent Kaul.


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