When you’re thinking of a place to go relax and enjoy yourself, the hospital probably doesn’t come to mind. Some of us might default our thinking of hospitals to drab, boring places with no personality or personalization.
Frankly, some hospitals fit that description all too well. Just because most people don’t choose to be in the hospital, however, doesn’t mean they can’t be pleasant places.
People spend a lot of time waiting in common areas and other public spaces that can be made more functional and enjoyable by technology.
Check out this infographic to learn more about technology that improves the patient's experience.
Improving Health Care Spaces With AV Design
Hospitals and other health-care facilities are big places with lots of lobbies, hallways, waiting rooms, patient rooms, cafeterias and provider command centers such as nurses stations.
All these community spaces offer prime opportunities for AV solutions such as interactive displays, sound masking and IP video to improve and enhance the staff, patient and visitor experience.
Here are a few ideas for integrating AV technology into a hospital's public areas:
Large video walls in lobbies can display information about the hospital, including donors, hours, awards and rankings, as well as rotating informational and welcome messages. In addition to providing a visual impact, the information displayed can help reinforce the hospital’s brand and service quality. Hallways to treatment areas or surgical rooms could also be equipped with video walls that display soothing images or dynamic artwork.
Navigating your way around a large health-care facility can be a frustrating and intimidating experience, especially if you are a first-time visitor already worried about a test, procedure or loved one.
Self-service kiosks with wayfinding capabilities can help take the edge off and reduce the burden on hospital staff who are constantly being stopped and asked for information.
Visitors and patients could simply type in a room number or department and have a map to the correct location displayed on the screen. As a further enhancement, patients and visitors could connect wirelessly to the hospital’s wayfinding system to download maps or use real-time GPS tracking to make sure they are headed the right direction.
Brighten up a hospital cafeteria with digital signage to display meal options including daily specials, prices and nutritional information that is all easily updated.
A digital platform means that information can be easily updated in real-time as availability and prices change. Hospital gift shops could also use digital signage to advertise products, sales and store hours.
Integrating social media into your digital signage displays also helps promote a positive work environment and caregiving experience.
For many people visiting a health-care facility, waiting is a big part of the experience.
HD TVs in waiting rooms can provide entertainment options to fill the downtime. Additional screens could display wait times when the next ER physician will be available.
Charging stations and wireless connectivity in every waiting area and common space also improves the experience by allowing patients and visitors to easily use their own devices while they wait.
One task that can become burdensome to staff is registering patients. Much like self-service wayfinding kiosks, lobbies can also be equipped with self-service stations where patients can check in and provide data such as insurance information and medical history.
In addition to saving hospital staff time, allowing patients to check in on their own reduces the time they spend waiting for someone to take their information and moves them more quickly to the next stage of their care.
Technology in hospitals and other health-care settings doesn’t have to be only patient- and visitor-centric.
Care providers and administrative staff can benefit from solutions such as electronic health records, tablets or laptops for recording notes and patient data, digital displays for schedules and change notices.
Centralized room scheduling and high-quality audio and video conferencing capabilities can also increase the efficiency of health-care staff and reduce their stress, which ultimately translates to better care and more positive patient and visitor experiences.
Technology Supports Patient Wellness
Treating a patient involves more than just their physical or mental health. And, it's not just patients who are spending vast amounts of time in hospitals. So, it's important to accommodate everybody from patients to their families and friends.
Technology that improves the patient experience will become more and more critical whatever the reason for a patient’s visit.
It can be something as simple as appealing digital signage around the commons, or something as complex as allowing patients to record and track progress towards care goals using an interactive screen in their room.