Hospital Navigation: How Digital Wayfinding Solves Existing Challenges

Hospital Navigation: How Digital Wayfinding Solves Existing Challenges

Modern healthcare campuses are growing larger than ever to accommodate the growing number of aging adults who require medical care. With that growth comes a number of navigational challenges for facility visitors.

At Oppna Digital, we help large-scale healthcare facilities solve their most challenging navigational concerns by designing and implementing efficient hospital wayfinding solutions. Below, we discuss a few of the most common wayfinding issues currently affecting large healthcare campuses and how digital wayfinding design helps solve them.

Static Wayfinding Signage: Challenging to Find and Follow

Given their rapid growth in recent years, large healthcare campuses are becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, particularly when static signage is the only wayfinding solution on site. This is due in large part to the fact that many healthcare campuses have multiple wings and buildings, many of which were designed and constructed at different times.

Some buildings may be connected in complex ways and others may be located at a considerable distance from one another. Both new and returning patients can find it challenging to navigating between these areas because the current static signage is difficult to find and follow.

That’s where interactive wayfinding kiosks and efficient digital signage design come in. With digital solutions, patients reap a number of benefits, including:

●        Centrally located, easy-to-find wayfinding kiosks near major entrances

●        Turn-by-by directions throughout a facility, including alternate routes (like blue dot navigation on a roadway)

●        Text-to-phone capabilities (visitors can use their smartphones to guide them throughout any large facility)

●        Outdoor navigation for large campuses that have multiple parking lots and buildings

●        Real-time navigational updates that display alternate routes when congestion is high or certain hallways, stairwells, or elevators are out of service

Static Wayfinding Signage Contributes to Inefficient Use of Hospital Resources

When hospital visitors and patients are confused or lost, what’s their first course of action? Usually, it’s finding a facility staff member and asking for directions. But hospital staff — whether it’s desk staff, passing doctors, nearby nurses, or assistants — have a well-defined set of essential duties. Playing the role of navigational concierge isn’t one of them.

When staff must take time away from tending to patients and completing administrative tasks to help direct visitors through the facility, this introduces delays in several areas. Essentially, it’s a poor use of hospital resources.

One study — even though it was conducted decades ago — found this issue alone can cost hospitals as much as a quarter of a million dollars each year. That was back in 1990 — imagine how much those costs have increased today.

With interactive wayfinding kiosks and efficiently designed digital signage solutions in place, hospital staff can attend to their most pressing tasks while visitors autonomously navigate the facility. 

Confusing Wayfinding Decreases Scheduling Efficiency and Patient Satisfaction

When they first visit a large healthcare campus, many new patients have no idea what to expect in terms of facility size, location, and navigation. When they find the maze of hallways, floors, parking lots, and buildings confusing to navigate, they end up arriving late to appointments or miss them altogether.

Even for returning patients — particularly the elderly who comprise the largest percentage of hospital visitors — facility navigation is often difficult. Given their massive size and dozens of offices and providers, large healthcare campuses can’t expect previous visitors to clearly recall the most efficient path to their destination. 

When a campus’s existing static wayfinding solutions are wildly inefficient and inadequate, more patients miss appointments and fail to get the care or consultations they need. Ultimately, no-shows and tardy patients negatively affect scheduling efficiency and decrease patient satisfaction.

Request a Hospital Wayfinding Demo Today

Curious how interactive wayfinding can simplify navigation and safety in your healthcare facility? Get in touch with our team at Oppna Digital to schedule a demo today. We specialize in end-to-end digital solutions development and implementation, including software functionality, wayfinding hardware procurement, web application development, content management, and much more.

To get started, give us a call today at 651-237-5677, request a demo, or connect with us online to learn more.

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