6 Ways Interactive Digital Signage Improves Efficiency in Large-Scale Medical Centers
Any person who’s spent time in a hospital, whether as a patient, visitor or an employee, knows how stressful of an experience it can be. In a place where time is always of the essence, finding ways to optimize time and efficiency continues to be a top priority for hospitals all around the world.
As demand for qualified healthcare workers continues to far outweigh supply, many large-scale healthcare facilities across the United States are significantly understaffed. It’s a major issue that affects not only hospital efficiency but also employee and patient satisfaction.
Efficiency and quality of care can suffer tremendously when hospital employees are forced to juggle excessive responsibilities due to understaffing. Ultimately, a poor patient experience translates to declining revenue for any healthcare facility.
While improving hospital efficiency is a complicated equation with many moving parts, implementing self-service digital tools can help. Interactive wayfinding and signage displays offer large-scale medical centers a versatile tool that not only functions to boost efficiency, but also enhances the patient experience.
To further examine innovative technologies' impact in a healthcare setting, here are six ways all parties can benefit from hospital wayfinding solutions.
1. Facilitate Staff Communication
The healthcare industry has been ditching paper records in favor of electronic health records for years. Why? Because EHR technology offers providers a more efficient, up-to-date, comprehensive way to manage patient care.
The same idea applies to communication between healthcare employees – why not ditch those whiteboards at the nurse’s station in favor of digital communication? And how about enhancing the ones in the emergency and operating rooms, too?
Interactive digital signage streamlines communication among hospital staff by providing an easy-to-update solution for coordinating care. Updates can be distributed throughout the facility in mere minutes, and signs can also be used to disseminate important alerts rapidly.
2. Free Up Staff
Implementing interactive signage displays and digital wayfinding kiosks throughout a healthcare facility is an excellent solution for reducing strain on human resources. Rather than hiring additional staff, healthcare facilities can use these tools to allow patients to take certain aspects of the healthcare experience into their own hands.
With digital tools, patients can:
Check-in and fill out intake forms
Pay and manage bills
Schedule appointments and set appointment reminders
Get turn-by-turn directions to any destination within the campus
3. Improve Collaboration & Workflow
Because interactive digital signage allows patients to handle multiple aspects of their hospital experience on their own, it offers a valuable opportunity to streamline administrative workflow. It also reduces the likelihood of information inaccuracies due to illegible handwriting, poor verbal communication, misspellings, and other human errors.
Interactive displays can also provide real-time communication throughout large-scale facilities. As such, they can be used to facilitate collaboration between administrators, physicians, nurses, and other hospital staff.
4. Enhance Accessibility & Navigation
In a place where every second counts, it’s alarming to know how much time and literal money is wasted due to hospitals having poor or inefficient navigational resources for both patients and staff. In fact, studies show that patients getting lost in hospitals can cost an annual average of $220,000 in labor costs, which can ultimately contribute to 30% of hospital patients being late for appointments and appointment no-show rates hovering around 15-20% every year.
Navigating large medical centers can be challenging for both patients and visitors alike, regardless of how often they visit. Interactive digital displays offer interactive maps and intuitive wayfinding solutions, efficiently guiding patients to their destinations. By eliminating the stress of getting lost, patients can arrive at their appointments on time, enhancing the overall experience.
5. Boost Employee & Patient Engagement
Keeping everyone in the loop and on the same page is obviously essential for any hospital to improve efficiency and communication. From instantly distributing emergency notifications to informing staff and visitors on all the latest regulations or safety protocols, interactive wayfinding and digital signage displays are ideal for helping hospitals engage with their coworkers and visitors.
Interactive digital signage provides an engaging platform for patient education and healthcare promotion. Through interactive touchscreens, patients can access educational videos, health tips, and resources related to their conditions, empowering them to take an active role in their healthcare journey.
6. Alleviate Stress for Older Patients
Did you know approximately one-third of new hospital visitors get lost as they attempt to find their way through the facility? Large-scale medical centers are notoriously challenging to navigate for anyone. But for older adults – especially those who are frail, live with chronic pain, or have difficulty moving – hospital navigation presents a serious problem.
The senior population is growing faster than any other age group in the U.S., and older adults are more likely to visit healthcare facilities than their younger counterparts. Implementing accommodating, easy-to-use hospital wayfinding technology makes any healthcare environment more accessible and inviting for older patients. When you can alleviate stress and minimize confusion for elderly visitors, your hospital can provide more peace of mind for older patients, as well as their family, friends, or caretakers.
Providing a more welcoming environment for seniors should be a top priority for any healthcare facility. And with the right wayfinding solutions, creating navigational resources that cater to elderly patients’ needs has never been easier. While static signage and directional placards might be well-intentioned wayfinding tools, they’re woefully outdated, far from efficient, and not accessible to all.
Fortunately, technology has an answer to the aging population’s navigational difficulties: interactive digital wayfinding. Here are some of the innovative ways in which wayfinding kiosks and interactive digital signage are helping large-scale medical centers better serve the needs of an aging patient population.
Digital Wayfinding Kiosks
Older patients might be slower to adopt technology, but when it’s user-friendly, most seniors are just as eager to benefit from it as younger generations. That’s where interactive digital wayfinding kiosks shine.
Unlike static signage, which can be difficult to locate and hard to read for many older patients, interactive digital wayfinding kiosks are designed to be as user-friendly as possible. Their placement near facility entrances makes them easy to locate and access, and their easy-to-use interface makes searching for destinations and getting directions as simple as typing a few words or clicking a menu item.
Older adults are more digitally connected today than ever. While it’s true that the senior population has lower rates of technology adoption than any other age group, it’s also true that many seniors rely on interactive digital maps in their daily lives.
One survey conducted by AARP found that over half of older adults who own smartphones use them at least weekly for digital maps and navigation. In healthcare facilities, blue dot navigation functions much like in an outdoor mapping scenario, making it easier than ever for users to find their way when using interactive wayfinding integrated to the patient portal mobile app.
Patients search for their destination and then follow along on their personal devices. Blue dot shows their position within the facility and the most efficient path to reach the intended destination, allowing for user-friendly mapping at its finest, including use of ADA settings.
Touchless Interactive Wayfinding Interfaces
Older, at-risk adults are wary about visiting healthcare facilities – even when they desperately need care. Concerning? Absolutely – both for patients and for healthcare facilities that have seen sharp declines in revenue. Fortunately, hospitals can use touchless interfaces to help improve patient confidence and encourage a return to care.
By its nature, interactive wayfinding minimizes face-to-face contact for at-risk patients. But many of those patients are still wary about touching an interface that others have touched.
With a touchless interface, facilities have several contactless options for getting patients the information they need, including:
Voice control, which is similar in functionality to smartphone voice commands
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions
QR code scanning, which delivers the wayfinding platform to a personal smart device
Schedule an Interactive Wayfinding Demo With Oppna Digital
Looking for ways to improve staff workflow and communication at your hospital? Get in touch with our team at Oppna Digital. Schedule a demo today so we can show you how interactive digital tools provide a versatile solution for improving both the staff and patient experience in large-scale healthcare facilities.
To learn more, you can also give us a call at 651-237-5677 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.