How Does Digital Wayfinding Reduce Stress Levels?
Long assumed as just another factor of life, more and more people are acknowledging the role that stress and anxiety plays in their lives. In fact, 77 percent of people experience stress on a daily basis that impacts both their physical and mental health, yet far too often do we fail to adequately address or treat all the various stressors we deal with.
Perhaps the most common environment we experience stress in are hospitals and other healthcare facilities. From the tension of waiting for a diagnosis of you or your loved one, to trying to navigate your way around such intricate, maze-like facilities, stressors can emerge from every which way when occupying time and space in a hospital. This is where proficient digital wayfinding solutions can help.
It’s easy to overlook all the ways digital wayfinding services can aid in alleviating stress levels in hospital settings. The definition of stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure, which can easily become intensified when surrounded by a hectic, overwhelming environment such as a hospital. That’s where the intention of digital wayfinding services as a personalized resource and aid can play a pivotal role in reducing patient stress levels. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways hospital wayfinding can contribute to alleviating stress in patients, and ultimately enhance the visitor experience.
Stress Reduces Navigational Capabilities
Let’s start with the primary area of comfort digital wayfinding can provide for hospital patients: navigation. Finding your way around an expansive and perplexing campus will only intensify the amount of stress one is experiencing, on top of having to cope with why they’re at a hospital in the first place.
A study conducted by researchers at UC Santa Barbara analyzed the relationship between navigation and stress production. They discovered that when someone is experiencing stress or anxiety, the largest concentration of the stress hormone cortisol is found in the hippocampus area of the brain, which is responsible for interpreting information, memory, decision-making, and, thus, navigation. This means that highly stressful environments, such as hospitals, can severely reduce one’s ability to navigate themselves, further contributing to extra production of cortisol.
Studies like this show how essential digital wayfinding software and technologies are to not only helping patients get around hospitals, but for potentially decreasing their stress levels as well.
Less-Stressed Patients Equal Less-Stressed Staff
Perhaps one of the more overlooked aspects to curbing stress levels in hospital settings is how calmer patients can have quite the impact on workplace satisfaction and productivity. Heavy workloads, demanding schedules, and critical situations are enough to make any healthcare worker’s life stressful, let alone having to deal with lost, confused, or frustrated patients.
Studies have shown how stressful working environments can have a profound impact upon a wide variety of healthcare workers’ physical and mental health traits, including increases in depression, fatigue, and drastic decreases in work engagement and performance. When hospital workers are forced to go out of their way to accommodate patients’ needs, the extra workload will only increase the amount of burnout they will experience.
This is where digital wayfinding solutions can make a difference. From providing personal resources to find their ways throughout healthcare facilities, to offering personal check-in and waiting time updates via interactive kiosk stations and digital signage displays, wayfinding technologies are equipped with the necessary stress-reducing tools to make hospitals a more efficient, less tense environment for everyone.
Reduce Stress Levels With Professional Wayfinding Solutions
While stress is an inevitable part of the experience of life, it’s important to continue to create solutions and resources that can contribute to reducing levels of stress for customers, visitors, and employees alike. If you’re eager to learn more about how digital wayfinding solutions can enhance customer and visitor experiences, contact Oppna Digital today to request a demo of our services, or call us at 651.237.5677 to speak directly with one of our digital wayfinding experts.