Hospital signs are crucial for helping people who are focused on other things to navigate a stressful situation and an unfamiliar environment. Wayfinding is important, as are hospital door signs that let people know they’ve gotten to their desired location. By adding digital signage to a hospital environment, outcomes can be improved for patients, visitors and staff alike, and even the community the hospital is a part of.
One thing we all do at healthcare facilities is wait, sometimes for a while. Having a clear sense of where we are, where we’re going and what to expect is important to reducing stress levels. Hospital digital signs can include queuing systems, or even just a countdown clock until the next person will be helped, giving people a feeling of being at least a little in control. Just the addition of this one thing can help people to calm down and have a better experience.
There are actually clinical studies that anxiety and stress, as well as perceptions of physical discomfort, can be reduced with distractions. Hospital digital signage that has plenty going on – news, weather, entertainment and well-designed messages with health tips and on-site information – provides a lot for people to look at and think about, to distract them from any anxiety. Basically, the more information available to people in your facility, the more relaxed people will be.
Where can I get something to eat? Where’s the bathroom? How do I find where I need to go, and how do I get there from here? Hospital wayfinding signage can answer all of these questions and more. Placing interactive screens or kiosks in clear view, in places people are most likely to want and need to use them, can give people a self-service option, and a sense of control over their circumstances. Clear, concise directions make navigating the facility easier. You can offer options like QR tags and SMS to send turn-by-turn directions to a mobile device, so people always have what they need with them. And new technologies, like voice-activated signs, can reduce the spread of germs.
Pairing digital wayfinding with a directory further eases the burden on visitors. It also takes some of the pressure off of your staff. A surprising amount of staff time in healthcare facilities is taken up by visitors and patients asking for directions. By supplying this information through other means, staff can focus on more personalized service. And you don’t have to have interactive touchscreens. Even posting maps on static digital signs can help.
Digital signs for hospitals are also beneficial for healthcare workers. It creates a sense of community and continuity, which can be important in an environment that can sometimes get chaotic. Employee messages can be separated from public notices to engage and inform staff. And since they often deal with ill people on a day-to-day basis, safety reminders on screens can gently remind people what needs to be done, as well as send the message that management cares about their wellbeing.
Another benefit for hospital staff is better space management. Using hospital room signs that are tied into scheduling systems outside shared spaces like meeting rooms and labs makes finding a meeting or an open room much easier. Room signs can be interactive, so scheduling can occur right at the screen and automatically update with the paired calendar software, or they can simply show daily schedules outside rooms.
Digital signs can even go further, recognizing staff achievements, progress towards goals, anniversaries and so on. Everyone likes to be congratulated on a job well done, and healthcare workers sometimes have a very hard job. Training and certification opportunities can also be promoted in on-screen messages, allowing staff to constantly improve the range of skills they use to help people.
The larger community can also benefit from hospital digital signs. You can promote donors, fundraisers, blood drives and other important public events. Perhaps you offer classes, or workshops in health and safety matters. Let people know they’re in good hands by showing messages that tell them about awards and grants the hospital or staff has received, how the facility complies with HIPAA rules, success stories and community outreach initiatives.
It doesn’t need to be a complicated, expensive endeavor to start making life easier for anyone and everyone who interacts with your healthcare facility. You can start by getting a basic digital signage system that’s scalable and increase capabilities over time. The main goal is to make everyone’s lives a little easier, and a little safer. And hospital digital signage can certainly help do that.