St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City Uses HIT to Help Patients Navigate Facility

St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City (Mo.) has found a way to leverage current consumer technology to address patient wayfinding issues within their facilities, according to a St. Luke's news release.

Whether a hospital is large or small, patients and visitors may become overwhelmed with the complex hospital environment, unfamiliar terminology and multiple destinations. Since patients and visitors already deal with potentially frightening diagnoses and treatments, the last thing needed is stress from unfamiliar settings.

To address these unexpected patient issues, hospital wayfinding could be part of a hospital operations and improvement plans. Health information technology could be used, not only to improve quality healthcare, but to improve health facilities as well.

To address wayfinding issues, St. Luke's tapped Forcade Associates, an Evanston, Ill.-based design firm, to combine digital and interactive technology with traditional interior and exterior signs. The wayfinding changes, part of St. Luke's $330 million expansion program, help patients and visitors navigate through St. Luke's 1.2 million square-foot hospital.

Forcade Associates created directional kiosks that prompt guests with information and visual instructions to get from Point A to Point B within the hospital. The kiosks feature touch screen technologies, similar to iPads, that include crisp, clear visuals and audio connectivity. Guests also have the option to print directions to any part of the hospital.  

Related Articles on HIT:

5 Common Telemedicine Mistakes to Avoid
Study: E-Prescribing Could Improve Patient Outcomes, Save Healthcare Billions
6 Best Practices for a Research-Enabled Data Warehouse

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