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Interactive Signage in Healthcare Promotes Wellness

Healthcare October 20, 2017

There’s a comfort in the familiar – we know what to expect, what is expected of us and how it works. Comfort reduces stress, and there are few environments people go to with more potential for stress than hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They’re worried about themselves, or their loved ones, and everything the organization can do to make things easier and more familiar increases their wellness.

In the modern age, just about everyone is accustomed to using touchscreens on smartphones to access whatever information they want. So, adding interactive touchscreens and kiosks to healthcare environments makes sense; it’s what people are used to and are comfortable with already. And putting more power in the hands of patients and visitors also frees up staff to concentrate on their jobs and give more personalized service.

Your healthcare facility can offer a “consumer-like experience” to clients and visitors. Simplifying and standardizing information on an interactive touchscreens or kiosks allows a vast amount of data to be accessed in a short period of time.

One obvious use for touchscreens is interactive wayfinding. Having an up-to-date directory of current patients, common destinations and events lets people simply walk up to the screen and get what they need without having to stop someone.

The screen then maps the route to where they need to go, and can even send directions directly to a person’s tablet or smartphone. This is good for the visitors, since they feel empowered and get a sense that the hospital has already anticipated their needs and preferences, and also good for staff.

They feel empowered and get a sense that the hospital has already anticipated their needs and preferences, and also good for staff.

All those little “Excuse me, can you help me find…?” moments add up throughout the day. A study from a couple of years ago found that in a medium-sized US hospital of 300 beds, staff spent 4,500 hours a year simply giving directions to patients and visitors – that’s over 12 hours a day!

But interactive digital signage can be used for much more than just wayfinding. In some contexts, it might be appropriate to integrate your queue management system, allowing people to choose a service and get a number, and showing them where they are in line to reduced perceived wait times. You can also show informative messages while people wait, so they feel a sense of progress, rather than simply sitting and waiting for an unknown amount of time.

If there’s a cafeteria or gift shop on site, you can use interactive boards to advertise what’s available. In the café, people can browse through daily specials, nutritional facts and more. You can even tie the screens into your ordering system, which gives people more time to choose what they want before they get to the checkout. And since your screen real estate is virtually unlimited, you can even include satisfaction surveys on the same screen.

Waiting rooms are well-known for their eclectic magazine choices, many of which sit around out of date. But with digital signage, people can get up-to-the-minute news, local weather and traffic, while being exposed to wellness messages and announcements about things the facility has to offer. By embedding information in a directory-style system on an interactive touchscreen, a healthcare facility can offer up literally hundreds of interesting items to its visitors. People tap on what interests them, and the content is displayed immediately. You can also include a short URL or QR code to direct them to more detailed articles, so they can peruse at their leisure using their smartphone or tablet from the comfort of a chair.

Interactive donor boards are a great way to thank patrons and encourage donations with in-depth bios, videos and more.

Interactive donor boards are a great way to thank patrons and encourage donations with in-depth bios, videos and more. You can also offer distractions for bored children (and adults!) like games, videos, quizzes – the possibilities are endless. And you don’t have to limit this to visitors. Patients need entertainment as well.

Interactive signage is scalable, so a facility can start off with just a few offerings, expanding as need be. One good way to determine what people might want or need in the future is to watch their behavior.

Are most people asking the information desk for directions? Try an interactive wayfinding map. Do people look annoyed or bored in the waiting room? Then put in a news and entertainment kiosk. Are people waiting for their turn looking frustrated? Put in a self-service queue management system. Are lines too long at the cafeteria? Provide an interactive menu board.

By giving people what they’ve already proven they like – the power to decide what information they need and how deep to go into it – you foster a feeling of comfort that goes beyond the body and affects the mind itself, which, as healthcare professionals know, is where a lot of healing and wellness comes from.


About the Author

Debbie DeWitt is the Marketing Communications Manager at Visix, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Visix’s AxisTV enterprise digital signage software allows clients to create, manage and schedule organizational communications from anywhere and to deliver messages, media and alerts to virtually any endpoint. Visix also provides award-winning content design, meeting room signs, and applications for targeted messaging to desktops and personal devices for a complete digital signage solution. For more information, visit Visix.com.

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