Rethinking Healthcare Wayfinding Strategies in a Post-COVID World

Rethinking Healthcare Wayfinding Strategies in a Post-COVID World

While it’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted essentially every industry around the world, it’s also probable that healthcare is one of the most impacted industries out of them all. Skyrocketing patient admissions, staff shortages, exceeded ICU capacities; these are just a few of the pressing issues that continue to cripple the current healthcare infrastructure, with experts struggling to predict what else the future could possibly hold.

As a result of these endeavors, hospitals have been forced to step back and reexamine their processes and procedures in order to adapt to the newfound changes the pandemic has forced upon them. One of these areas of reflection has been exploring new and improved healthcare wayfinding strategies that better cater to the needs of both patients and hospital staff alike.

In addition to serving as navigational resources, digital wayfinding designs have rapidly evolved to include other accommodative solutions, from expediting customer service to offering more personalized sources of essential information. But how exactly have hospitals reassessed their usage and dependency on digital wayfinding systems? Let’s explore some of the ways hospitals have started to rethink their healthcare wayfinding strategies to combat the common obstacles faced in a post-COVID world.

Touch-Free Strategies

With all the varying health protocols that are in place throughout the country, implementing wayfinding designs that reduce contact and emphasizing spacing has become a top priority for hospitals. Touch-free digital wayfinding has aided healthcare facilities in incorporating navigational and customer service resources that don’t require any hand-to-screen contact. Some of these touch-free wayfinding designs hospitals have started to embrace include:

●        Mobile wayfinding app development

●        Touch-free or voice-activated interactive kiosk stations

●        Scannable QR codes via digital signage displays

●        3D map viewing capabilities

●        Text-to-phone mapping instructions

The more touch-free wayfinding strategies hospitals can implement into their everyday operations, the less healthcare employees and patients alike will have to worry about any potential surface contact spreading.

Supportive Themes and Tones

For so long, it’s been easy to overlook simple wayfinding design or layout traits such as themes and tones. But in today’s stress-filled hospital environments, promoting positive, calming, and resourceful messaging through digital wayfinding is just one way to make everyone’s lives a little less taxing.

‘Keep six feet apart at all times’, ‘mandatory mask-wearing beyond this point’, ‘do not enter if you’re feeling sick’; all of these signs have seemingly been etched in our minds for the past few years now. That’s why more hospitals have started taking a more optimistic approach with their wayfinding messages and instructions, incorporating friendly reminders for patients to follow the rules rather than showcasing the same old stern warnings everyone has been accustomed to of late.

Utilizing more supportive themes and tones within your wayfinding directions will also be reflective of your hospital’s branding. Rather than creating a more tense, intimidating, and stressful environment, applying more little signs of encouragement can certainly make a bigger difference in a patient’s experience and satisfaction.  

Covering all the FAQ Bases

As patient admission increases and staff shortages continue to affect the efficiency and workflow of hospitals around the world, healthcare facilities have found themselves more dependent than ever on installing digital wayfinding resources to answer any, if not all, patient inquiries. Content management for digital wayfinding systems, digital signage displays, and interactive kiosks has had to become more conscious of patient FAQs. These features provide accessible solutions for any possible questions or concerns so healthcare workers can stay focused on their own tasks at hand.

From installing software functionalities such as self check-in kiosk stations in waiting rooms to displaying waiting time or emergency notification updates on digital signage screens, hospitals are doing whatever they can to provide their patients enough resources to calm any concerns they may have. Having such digital wayfinding resources available for patients to take advantage of will only work toward creating a faster and more efficient healthcare environment.

Custom Healthcare Wayfinding Solutions From Oppna Digital

Every hospital has its own needs when it comes to adhering to their patients’ navigational and accessibility concerns. At Oppna Digital, we work directly with our healthcare clients to deliver them customized digital wayfinding solutions that solve specific problems they encounter in their day-to-day operations. If you’re interested in learning more about how digital wayfinding can improve your workplace efficiency, contact us today to request a demo of all of our wayfinding services!

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