Like many Americans, this time of year makes me reflect on all the things I am thankful for in my life. At the top of my list is always good health. I have been fortunate to have not had an extended hospital stay. But, I have spent Thanksgiving Day in a hospital with a relative before, and I am awed by those that work in healthcare facilities.
Hospitals are mini-cities, hustling, bustling and dealing (literally) with life from birth to death. Unlike most visitors and patients, healthcare workers aren’t intimated by large hospitals or confused where to go. I, however, pause every time I first walk into a hospital, looking around a bit flustered. Am I in the right area? Do I need to check in? How do I get to where I want to go?
The first thing I do is look for a sign to guide me where to go and what to do. But, even finding a sign is not easy. Printed or facility signage can often blend in to the environment and not be seen.
I am thankful that today’s hospitals are incorporating more digital signage to help guide visitors like me. Digital signs are a proven means of communication for visitors, with 63% saying digital signage catches their attention and digital displays capturing 400 times more views than static displays. .
So what is digital signage and how exactly can it benefit hospital visitors? Digital signage is a solution that provides customized content to automatically be displayed on digital screens to inform and influence behavior.
Digital signs provide many benefits for healthcare facilities, including –
- Interactive Wayfinding. Hospitals have visitors daily that have never been to their facility and don’t know where to go. Digital kiosks in key traffic areas can display maps with “you are here” data to help visitors get oriented to the facility. Interactive kiosks have the added ability for a user to drill down for further information such as directory listings or departments by floor.
- Lessened Perceived Wait Times. Whether a patient or a guest, much time is spent waiting in hospitals. An hour that seems to fly by on vacation can drag by one long minute after another when waiting to talk to a doctor or get test results. Healthcare digital signage can display news stories and informational messaging that entertains and makes the time go by faster. In fact, studies have shown that digital signage can lower perceived wait times by 35%. Who doesn’t want a 30 minute wait to feel like 20?
- Visibility of Amenities. Hospitals go way beyond the basics of doctor’s offices, patient rooms and waiting areas. Facilities include gift shops, cafeterias, outpatient services and community programs. All of these and more can benefit from digital signage promotion. Is there a sale in the gift shop, a daily special in the cafeteria or a new senior exercise class? Hospitals can increase awareness by promoting these services through their digital messaging.
- Information to Reduce Stress. From calming messages and reassuring videos to a queued list of when a doctor will be with the next patient, digital signage for hospitals can help reduce stress. According to an article on The Psychology of Waiting Times, anxiety makes waits seem longer and unexplained waits are longer than explained waits. Intelligent digital signage can interface with hospital systems to display a doctor’s status, manage wait-time expectations and show programming that makes waiting times seem shorter, all of which help alleviate anxiety and stress.
- Self-service Check-in. Interactive kiosks can be used to empower patients with the ability to check-in or complete their registrations themselves. Not only is self-check-in often faster, it also provides increased privacy for the patient and their guests.
Each of these benefits by themselves is important for hospital visitors, patients and guests, but the fact they can all be achieved through one medium – digital signage – is an even greater advantage for the healthcare facility.
RMG NetworksTM provides intelligent visual communications for hospitals that include digital signage software, hardware, consultancy, content creation and professional services. For more information, download our healthcare market sheet or contact us today.
About the Author:
Julie Rasco is Director of Marketing for RMG Networks and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales. Her passion is to be part of the future of marketing while contributing to the bottom line today. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn.
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