8 Ways Hospital Use Digital Signage to Improve Care, Patient Satisfaction

Enterprise businesses and healthcare institutions share a remarkable number of similarities despite their obvious differences. While businesses are focused on selling a widget or marketing a service, healthcare institutions provide the service of delivering care. To that end, digital signage can benefit a healthcare institution in a multitude of ways.

Hospitals, clinics and physicians' offices can be intimidating places for those that visit as both patients and as guests. When visiting a healthcare institution, ambiguity and confusion can create added discomfort to an already stressful situation. Digital signage has the capacity to mitigate and eliminate this stress, and for the healthcare institution itself, digital signage can streamline the provision of care, deliver higher quality of care and increase profitability. Here are some ways hospitals across the country are using digital signage to their benefit:

1. Wayfinding applications can direct visitors from point to point within facilities, thus speeding-up the process of finding a patient room or check-in area.

2. Content can be delivered dynamically within check-in areas providing patients with important information that is relevant to them (such as expected wait times).

3. For friends and family members, patient treatment status can be delivered in real-time, thus alleviating the fear of uncertainty during a surgery or procedure of a loved one.

4. Relevant entertainment can be tailored and delivered to a patient room based on a demographic profile captured during the patient check-in process.

5. Better facilitation of communication with staff. Digital signage solutions can replace the typical whiteboards found in areas such as nursing stations, emergency and operating rooms, improving the overall coordination of care.

6. Improved collaboration. Doctors, nurses and administrators can use digital signage and software collaboration tools to improve relevant workflow communication.

7. Automation of the patient check-in process. Digital signage, when deployed with the right content management system, has the potential to streamline wait times and improve the capacity to service a greater number of patients and to improve the patient experience.

8. Awareness and demand generation related to the gift shop or cafeteria. Digital signage can be deployed to promote specials and promotions, thus increasing sales and profitability tied to concession and hard good sales.

In summary, digital signage has the potential to be as important as a complex medical imaging system or a stethoscope within a healthcare facility. The benefits to patients, visitors and caregivers cannot be overlooked or underestimated; it has the potential to provide a positive experience that will encourage future patronage of the facility deploying it. As for the healthcare institution itself, digital signage can improve profitability, the capacity to see more patients and improve the overall quality of care delivered.

Will Townsend (wtownsend@peerless-av.com) is managing director of healthcare for Aurora, Ill. based Peerless-AV.

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