Adventist Health System: Support from the Top

Adventist Health System (AHS) is the largest not-for-profit, Protestant healthcare organization in the US with 43,000 employees, serving nearly four million patients annually. When they decided to deploy a digital communications application, they wanted to ensure that headquarters could maintain control of the “corporate” message, but allow the local college or university to create and manage content relevant to the local campus.

AHS Corporate headquarters in Winter Park, Florida, purchased a healthcare digital signage system powered by AxisTV digital signage software and hardware, and houses the central content server which feeds displays at the Winter Park complex and six remote campuses – Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan; Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska; Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee; Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, Orlando, Florida; Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama; and Southwest Adventist University, Keene, Texas. Because AHS is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist church, they specifically selected six Adventist colleges and universities that are located within church divisions where AHS also has hospitals.

The administrators at AHS keep the program balanced by partnering with the campuses in lieu of a top-down strategy. “It’s our product, but we see ourselves in more of a support roll for the campuses. We don’t want to dictate to them. We want it to be useful and beneficial to the campuses – not just a bulletin board for corporate messages,” comments Anthony Vera Cruz, Coordinator of Corporate Communications at AHS. He continues, “The reason we prefer AxisTV to any other digital signage solution is that it’s so easy to use. With some basic training, you can put up a text bulletin in a matter of minutes. We’ve gotten a great response from the not-so-tech-savvy users.”

Corporate uses a single 16×9 format on a single display in the lobby. Messages are delivered in a three-window plus crawl configuration to 42-inch screens at each of the six remote facilities, usually in the student center or cafeteria. Corporate uses two of these windows to deliver inspirational messages, recruiting news and photos of various AHS facilities. Local content includes bulletins, video programs, announcements, news, weather and event schedules. “In the beginning, we published more of the content in order to show the campuses the potential,” says Vera Cruz. “Now the campuses are turning over bulletins anywhere from every two days to rapid changes within a day. “

Every site has their own processes – some with individuals generating content and others using a team approach, with faculty and students submitting content. Andrews University is utilizing the Video Window Option to show their campus-produced news show and Southern Adventist University has incorporated Event Schedule Display. At corporate, AHS is exploring the use of the display’s picture-in-picture option to show CNN or Fox News with bulletins in the background. “We really like the flexibility of the system for the different sites,” continues Vera Cruz. “It’s able to accommodate all types of users and uses. Instead of making our people fit the product, the system adapts to our needs.”

Vera Cruz praises the Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) they purchased to support their AxisTV system. “I’ve found it to be invaluable for our infrastructure, which includes different locations, different people in charge of the systems, and different networks. We’ve run into various issues that are unique to our application, and the SMA gives us immediate access to, and response from, the Visix support folks.” He continued, “The Visix team have been very responsive to us in terms of roll out and support – even before we added the SMA. They were attentive to our needs – modifying the software and adopting new versions to include our requests. I saw software modifications that we’d discussed a year before being incorporated into new versions as they were launched.”

The organization has plans to expand AxisTV solutions into other facilities. Various AHS network hospitals are also exploring AxisTV for their needs. “It’s new. It’s techie. It’s better than looking at a printed piece of paper because it’s constantly changing. It’s great because it’s attractive and it’s an attention-getter,” Vera Cruz sums up. “I love it!”