An ounce of digital is worth a pound of cure: Navigating healthcare facilities
Visits to different health facilities are not an experience most of us look forward to. But a little digital signage help can go a long way towards making hospitals more visitor-friendly, not to mention efficient.
Customer care is an important concern in any hospital that is dedicated to providing the best standard of care and knows this to be a concept that stretches above just medical science.
Visits to different health facilities are not an experience most of us look forward to, to say the least.
Whether a person is there for an emergency, a regular checkup or a visit to a loved one, it is fair to say that time spent inside a medical building is tinged with frayed nerves and stress. It does not help that a visitor is often left confused as to where they are supposed to be, lacking the information to take charge of their stay, (im)patiently twiddling their thumbs in hospital waiting rooms until they get to see a doctor.
Add to that the often frail, weakened or anxious condition of patients and visitors, and you get a situation where medical staff has to play helper, hall monitor, information provider and peacemaker all at once, instead of focusing on their primary job description. Talk about wasting resources!
A little digital assistance goes a long way
But it’s not just the efficiency of the nurses, doctors and medical technicians that quickly comes under fire – it’s also the satisfaction of the people using the medical facility.
To improve the communication with their visitors and boost patient satisfaction, medical establishments are increasingly integrating digital signage into their daily operations. After all, customer care should be an important concern in any hospital that is dedicated to providing the best standard of care and knows this to be a concept that stretches above mere medical science.
Finding your way around
And there is no better place to start than by providing digital wayfinding to all who are looking to navigate the vast premises of a medical facility.
Navigating the vast hallways of the clinic, hospital or emergency room in an attempt to uncover the information relevant to your stay or locate the right door and department can be a gargantuan task; mazes of similar-appearing corridors with doors labeled with unfamiliar terms add to this unique wayfinding challenge.
Cutting through the Gordian knot of unrecognizable halls are digital maps made available at key locations throughout the facility, complementing the already existing direction signs and guiding patients and visitors to their right destinations.
Because e-paper screens have unbelievably low power consumption and can be powered by a rechargeable battery, they can be mounted in all the places where they are truly needed.
Such optimization not only eases the burden on the medical staff, but will also speed up check-in times: and if the destination signs, map diagrams and step-by-step directions from point A to point B are provided on electronic paper technology, you can take it a step further than merely mounting the sign next to the first available electrical socket.
Because e-paper screens have unbelievably low power consumption and can be powered by a rechargeable battery that can run for weeks, they can be mounted in all the places where they are truly needed, be it in the medical centre itself or in the courtyard of a large hospital complex – no wires or cables to hinder installation here. Not to mention the added bonus of a lower electrical bill, meaning that the hospital’s funds can be allocated not to the upkeep of the brick-and-mortar building, but to the actual business of curing people.
What is more, e ink’s paper-like visibility will allow for screen content to be clearly displayed even under fluorescent lights and in direct sunlight, without glare.
Patient inclusion, a dose of the best medicine
But digital is not for maps and directions alone.
Electronic signage can be also used for progressive inclusion and engagement of healthcare facility visitors. Popping up in lobbies, patient rooms and waiting areas of a medical campus, digital signs, especially those perfectly suited to the hospital environment like e-paper, will keep the patient occupied, while also making sure that they get all the information they need, when and where they need it.
Make waiting for the doctor pleasant
Digital signage is an established tool of successful queue and wait management: it keeps users engaged by providing interesting and relevant content, making sure that people have a more pleasant experience while waiting (an inevitable reality of a medical facility especially).
With electronic paper signs you can easily provide entertaining content for the waiting crowds – the 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity of an electronic paper board will make it simple to display up to date news, interesting tidbits and other worthwhile content like weather, traffic and sports news that will make time in a waiting room pass more quickly. A matter of only a few clicks, all content streamed to the e-paper digital signs, wherever they may be, can be updated through the computer or smartphone, even by the less tech-savvy of your employees.
Add to that the fact that the electronic paper screen will emit no light pollution and you have an elegant time-passing solution that rivals outdated and tattered, germ-infested waiting room magazines.
Relevant information: just what the doctor ordered
But go above mere distraction – make sure that the time spent in waiting rooms is well used by providing your patients with information about your medical services and their general health.
Tell people all they need to know while visiting the hospital, clearly communicating anything that might provide insight into what visitors and patients are to do during their visit to your clinic:
- the name of the doctor on call
- the nurse in charge
- the department they are located in
- the door in front of which they are to wait
- information about visiting hours
Distribute important information about relevant health programs, vaccination schedules, disease prevention, changes in hospital policy and other public service announcements throughout your healthcare facility.
Even more: ensure medical compliance by providing information on your procedures and medications, empowering patients to understand their medical treatments and easing their concerns.
You’ll see, it will be just what the doctor ordered.