You’re already using your digital signage to present information to patients and visitors, but what about when they aren’t there? Consider leveraging your hospital digital signage and other mediums to include community outreach, encouraging people to interact with your brand wherever they are and whenever they need to.
People already use the internet and their mobile devices to interface with things like online banking, and the healthcare industry is often rated as one of the most trustworthy industries when it comes to judiciously handling personal information, so think of ways to extend your hospital’s message to people when they’re away from your facility.
There’s no need to wait until you have a huge, comprehensive program in place – you can start right now. Something as simple as sending text or email reminders of appointments keeps your organization in people’s minds and your patients on track. Then take further steps to get people more proactive in their involvement.
People who come to your hospital, whether patients or the friends and families of patients, often have lots of questions. Think about ways to help them find the answers they need without putting an undue burden of your staff. Helpful facts and health tips are great on digital signage displays, but what about feeding them to a website that archives those messages in one place, creating your very own searchable online knowledge base?
Add some messages to your digital signage playlists with short URLs or QR codes that remind people about your knowledge base, and encourage them to access it when they’re at home. When sending out text or email reminders, include a short URL link to it, perhaps targeted to specific medical issues that patient is currently dealing with. (For example, a text to Joann reminding her about a Wednesday appointment with her endocrinologist could have links to info and health tips about diabetes.)
Consider getting some staffers to write blogs or create infographics. Short excerpts from these can be displayed on your digital signs with links and QR codes to the full article on your website. Whenever a new entry is published, mention it on your social networks with links for easy access.
You can also find out how satisfied your patients are by putting short polls up on your website and social media, and promoting them on your digital signage screens. Use that feedback to drive improvements in your facilities and processes, and advertise those changes on social media and on your screens (something like “We’re listening” followed by the changes you’ve made based on feedback). This makes people feel like they’re being taken seriously, and increases patient loyalty. Even in the digital age, word-of-mouth is still powerful – people who are pleased with what you offer will tell other people, and your facility’s reputation increases in the community. You can go one step further by conducting a comprehensive community needs assessment, promoting it all through your digital signage and webpages.
Outreach can include anything that’s of interest to your audience, but isn’t necessarily “salesy”. Remind people of their patients’ rights, demonstrate how you’re HIPAA compliant, tell people about awards you and your staff win and grants you receive, mention the research you’re conducting, and share your success stories. Promote all your good works on your digital signs and in a monthly newsletter. See if you can get some happy patients and family members to give you quotes to make it more personal.
There’s also the work you do out in the wider community – fundraisers, blood drives, classes and workshops, lifestyle and preventative medicine initiatives. Get more people engaged and involved by reminding them on screen of what’s happening and how they can participate.
You don’t need to hire consultants or spend thousands of dollars on a complicated system –webpages, social media, texts and emails, and your digital signage screens are all you need to start getting your community informed and involved today.