Covenant Hospice came to Bit-Wizards to build a hospice and palliative care referral mobile application for the iOS and Android platforms. The application would allow physicians to refer patients quickly to hospice or palliative care. Covenant wanted to reach more patients with their care services. The purpose of this app is to increase the number of referral patients from existing physician relationships, build new physician relationships, and allow them to distinguish their company in the hospice/healthcare market both regionally and nationally.
Covenant Hospice’s President and CEO Jeffery Mislevy took the helm of Covenant Care in 2014, and he set Covenant on a new vision committed to service excellence and growth. As a part of this strategy, Covenant wanted to grow the number of patients they were serving and increase their pool of referring physicians. To achieve this, Covenant wanted to utilize a technology-driven way to streamline their business within the referral process. All of these requirements would have to include their new brand Covenant Care, which was a change and expansion of services from the original Covenant Hospice branding. To achieve these business goals, Covenant realized they would have to invest in technology and grow into a national company while continuing to be innovative in their service offering from a regional and national standpoint.
At the onset of discussions with Bit-Wizards, Covenant already owned a mobile app, but they had no developer to maintain it and no marketing to support it, and at that point, the app was three years old. They initially built the app just to “have an app,” it did not feature the necessary functionality or integration that would be beneficial to the growth of their business.
Covenant began the search for a “white label” app service to fill the need for their new app project. The CIO decided it was important to get an evaluation to determine if the white label app service would be the right direction for their project. At this point, Covenant came to Bit-Wizards. Covenant’s relationship with Bit-Wizards began in 2009 when the development team at Bit-Wizards built the Accra Time App for Covenant.
Covenant requested that Bit-Wizards evaluate the white label app service that they were considering and compare it to the cost and functionality that a custom app would provide.
Bit-Wizards’ evaluation of the white label app service included:
Bit-Wizards’ recommendation explained the necessity of creating a custom app to achieve the required functionality and allow for the addition of additional features in the future to support the level of growth and expansion of services that Covenant would need. The custom app route would also ensure HIPPA compliance and bring their technology investment up-to-date.
After the initial evaluation, Bit-Wizards met with Covenant’s CIO to discuss the recommended approach for submission to the Board of Directors. Covenant’s board agreed that to meet their exact business requirements and goals; the right solution would be to build a custom application.
The Bit-Wizards client services team met with the various departments within Covenant that hold a stake in the ICare app project. They complied lists of features and functionality required by the departments and then provided screen mock-ups to Marketing, IT, and Patient Care for feedback to confirm accuracy for the initial plan. This process helps to ensure end-user acceptance of the new application and a successful project launch.
Next, the Bit-Wizards development teams built the iOS app according to the specifications gathered and approved by the stake holding departments. After the initial development, Bit-Wizards led several review and feedback sessions with the Covenant team. They then moved on to develop the Android version of the application.
In addition to the end-user the applications for iOS and Android platforms, Bit-Wizards build a web-based management interface using Microsoft technology and leveraging Covenant’s existing IT infrastructure. This web interface allows Covenant to manage the patient and doctor information that enables the coordination of patient care and onboarding. The web interface also offers Covenant the ability to administer the app data such as locations and diagnosis codes without having to contact Bit-Wizards for content updates.
The initial launch of this app has been so successful; Covenant is already finding ways to add new features and functionality such as adding other profile types as referral providers (home health care aides, clergy, and nurses).
With the death rate growing annually at a rate of 6%, the ICare App makes it possible for Covenant to directly reach the 848 physicians and 350 physician’s assistants in the Northwest Florida region, which in turn, will bring a much better quality of life to those who are in need of care.
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