Hospitals and other healthcare facilities can deploy digital signage in a wide variety of ways to improve patient satisfaction, safety, staff morale, branding and more. Some of the primary uses of digital signage in healthcare settings are:
- information boards
- patient tracking
Finding the way
Patients and their families are often under great stress when they navigate a healthcare facility. Whether they are there for a diagnosis or a treatment, chances are high they are dealing with increased anxiety and might be worried about the outcome of the visit.
Digital signage can be calming because it clearly indicates where to go and how to get there. It provides the simplest possible communication, which is helpful in a setting where confusing or complex terminology abounds.
Additionally, digital signage makes it easy to employ themes that help people understand where they are in relation to where they are going. For example, in a facility that uses color-coding as part of its wayfinding strategy, the background on digital signs can be set to the appropriate colors.
Big display = big impact
In waiting rooms and other high-traffic areas with long dwell times, a large display can make an enormous difference in perceived wait times and patient satisfaction. Video walls can create a big impact, as Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children found when they transformed an atrium wall into an interactive digital video wall.
The hospital installed forty-five 46-inch displays to create a 50-foot-wide, 9-foot-high wall called the “Discovery Zone.” The response from children, their families and the hospital's staff has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
Other institutions have used video walls to educate patients and families, thank donors, display digital art and showcase outstanding staff members. A large format display helps reinforce brand recognition, and the messages displayed tend to stick with people longer than static signs.
A new kind of whiteboard
NEC and MEDI+SIGN® offer fully automated displays in patient rooms, exam rooms and at the nursing station. The Patient Whiteboard automatically delivers accurate, real-time patient information directly from the EHR (electronic health record) and other electronic systems. It eliminates the task of filling out a traditional dry erase board, giving nurses more time in front of patients instead of having their back to them. An anti-fall feature can also be fully integrated with smart beds, enhancing patient safety and fall prevention initiatives.
A nursing station display updates the care team on round and pain medication schedules. It provides staff with vital information about the patient before they enter the room. A flashing visual alert also indicates when a bed is unsafe. This connected communication platform has resulted in improved HCAHPS scores, reallocation of nurse time and better coordination of care.
Digital signage improves safety
Safety is critical in any healthcare environment, and digital signage helps increase safety. One of the benefits of digital wayfinding signage is that, in an emergency situation, the same message can be sent to all of the displays in real time. Digital displays can also broadcast healthcare messages and provide patient education, which helps lower readmission rates and increase patient safety.
NEC also offers flexible solutions that are compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The thinness of the screens and the mounting equipment enables the displays to be installed easily without special construction. This allows for more room for wheelchairs and easy traffic flow. In many settings, thin signage is essential for accessibility and compliance.
Value-based care and the importance of patient satisfaction
One of the most important transformations happening in healthcare right now is the move from a fee-for-service based care to value-based care. This transformation is multi-faceted, complex and is likely to change the way that healthcare works in surprising ways. As this massive change occurs, one factor has become increasingly important: patient satisfaction.
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) has released a tool called the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) to help hospitals systematically collect and measure information related to patient satisfaction. By helping patients easily navigate the facility — as well as inform and entertain visitors and patients in the lobby, waiting rooms or cafeteria — and providing critical information to healthcare providers that helps to improve the coordination of care, digital displays have been proven to boost patient satisfaction.
Want to know more?
If you'd like to learn more about NEC solutions for hospitals and other healthcare facilities, visit our website. You can contact an NEC healthcare specialist by phone at 866.NEC.MORE, ext. 2, or by emailing [email protected].