Digital signage can provide many benefits to a number of different industries, but interest in its use across various healthcare environments has grown in ways that few can match. Through the use of digital directories, wayfinding kiosks and video walls, staff can operate more efficiently, visitors are able to more easily navigate an unfamiliar environment, and patients can spend more time focusing on their appointments and overall health.
Healthcare digital signage is a system consisting primarily of a digital display, which can be interactive, static, touchscreen or non-touch, an enclosure, and an internal computer with specialized software. Digital healthcare kiosks are designed to streamline various tasks to assist staff, as well as simplify visits by guests or patients.
They can provide important facility information, maps, directions, navigational assistance, help with check-in and medical bill payment, and provide live updates regarding wait times. This frees up staff to focus on work that is more complex or that which requires more personal assistance.
Digital kiosks and signage are crucial for the healthcare industry as it improves the patient experience through transparency and efficiency while providing easier access to information. This can decrease patient stress and anxiety leading up to their appointment which in turn allows staff to do their job without added issues.
Digital signage is also generally more visually appealing than traditional paper signage, helping to create a more modern, comfortable environment. As oftentimes the hospital experience is spent anxiously awaiting news, pleasant aesthetics are helpful for keeping patients happy and calm. Lastly, digital signage can help increase awareness of other hospital services such as the cafeteria, guest services or the gift shop, or display important public health notifications, such as those required during COVID-19.
The most important use of healthcare signage is for patient communication. Many patients and visitors must spend time in healthcare settings waiting, whether on uncertain news, appointments, or test results. It is important that information is relayed to the patient in a way that is accessible and transparent.
This may include updates on doctor or appointment status, useful wellness tips for the patient, or information about the hospital itself. In addition, healthcare kiosks and digital signage can provide a welcome distraction in the form of entertainment, such as quizzes or television shows, which aids in keeping the patient and guests calm.
Waiting room displays help put patients and distressed family members at ease by keeping them entertained while they wait. These signs are valuable because they can also display estimated wait times and provide general health advice. For example, during the winter, they provide diet and wellness tips to help prevent cold and flu.
Currently many of these signs provide best practices for the prevention of Covid-19. Besides best health practices, these screens are able to provide information in the form of weather reports, sports updates, general news, social media, insurance tips and billing policies. They can also be used to stream movies and provide touchscreen games to entertain families.
Digital signage can also decrease perceived wait times in healthcare settings. According to digitalsignagetoday.com, as many as 35 percent of patients perceive their wait times to be much shorter due to the presence of digital signage. It also frees up staff to handle more complex tasks, rather than fielding questions about wait times.
Hospitals are quite large spaces to navigate and for those unfamiliar with the environment, they can be difficult to navigate, especially when already experiencing elevated stress. A wayfinding system can help patients and visitors navigate the hospital more easily using tools like maps and lighted paths, therefore preventing additional stress and anxiety caused by not being able to figure out how to get where they need to go.
In addition to a wayfinding system, digital directories provide an up-to-date listing of offices, departments and medical professionals and their locations within the building or on a larger campus. Many of these directories are located in the lobby so that first-time visitors are able to access a layout of the hospital from the start.
A hospital is a busy place and communication with staff is of great importance. Healthcare digital signage allows for real time communication anywhere in the hospital, saving time and allowing for better coordination. The signage also helps ensure that safety procedures are enforced and provides the latest industry events and news.
Staff meetings, important meetings, and conference room scheduling can easily be coordinated through signage as well. With many of these signs located in staff lounges, hospital staff are able to stay current with news, while creating efficiencies that allow them to more easily cater to the needs of their patients.
Donor boards provide recognition for those who have donated to the hospital. Digital signage can display photos of donors alongside their information to acknowledge their contributions to the hospital.
This can also draw more attention to donations and encourage potential donors to donate to the hospital as well. The signage also assists in driving fundraising efforts and meeting annual goals in a way that is less intrusive than other forms of donor drives.
Many hospitals have cafeterias and digital signage lets them update their menu items instantly. This allows for greater customization when changing prices, adding promotions, removing out of stock items, displaying new menu items and specials, and even providing nutrition information. These can also be updated with photos and videos to increase interest in specific menu items, and provide attractive visuals in addition to descriptive text.
Digital signage allows hospitals to publish emergency public health warnings and safety alerts. In the case of a fire, earthquake or other natural disaster, digital signage ensures that all areas of the hospital can quickly publish the alert and provide concise instructions on what to do.
These kiosks also display evacuation maps and provide escape route plans for those who are hearing impaired and require visual indicators. Emergencies can include building evacuations, active shooter drills or severe weather alerts. Digital signage ensures that all patients and hospital staff are kept safe during an emergency.
Digital signage is an excellent platform for promoting brands, companies, products or services when used as advertising space. The advantage of advertising on digital signage is that it can be displayed in a format that is highly visible and easily changed out whenever needed.
Digital advertising for healthcare environments can include increasing awareness of specialized services offered such as Lasik or cosmetic dermatology, or specific products recommended by the hospital to help prevent colds and flu. It can also welcome new providers and make visitors aware that they’ve joined the hospital and are taking new patients.
Healthcare digital signage can educate patients on better health practices and provide updates in waiting rooms. This provides an interactive learning platform to help improve health and wellness, especially during cold and flu season, or in summer, when skin cancer concerns rise in many places. Also, this provides a great way to distract or entertain patients as they wait for news or their appointment times.
The biggest benefit of healthcare signage is that internal communications are updated in real time so that doctors, nurses and staff can act on the most current available information. Strategic placement of digital signage allows staff to communicate easily with each other while assisting patients and family members with their informational needs as well.
Digital signage can create a more personal connection with healthcare staff, showcasing their credentials and helping to gain patient trust. Individual biographies of each doctor, nurse or staff member can be displayed on the kiosks which helps patients become more familiar with various care providers. Many of the kiosks even have staff introduction videos to create a warm, friendly and professional environment for patients and visitors.
Digital signage can promote non-medical hospital services. The gift shop can provide guests with present ideas to help patients feel better soon. Additionally, the cafeteria can also be promoted alongside other services that the hospital provides such as cardiology, pediatric care, dermatology and optical centers.
Lastly, digital signage can assist with wayfinding. With many of the kiosks installed around the hospital, they provide great markers for new visitors and can help them familiarize themselves with the hospitals and their numerous departments.
The most important aspect of digital signage and kiosks in a healthcare environment is to inform and communicate with patients and visitors. A hospital or other healthcare center requires a high level of efficiency to be effective, and digital signage can help save staff time that would be better used on more complex tasks or customer service issues.
Effective digital healthcare signage uses visually appealing images, including videos and sound, to engage viewers, and is placed in areas with sufficient foot traffic.
The key to effective digital signage in hospital settings is ensuring that it is always up to date, so be sure to review signage regularly so that it is relevant and accurate.