Quality hospital signage is a crucial part of providing patients and their families with the information they need while visiting a healthcare facility—the flexibility of digital signage exponentially expands the signs’ effectiveness.
Read on as we describe the benefits and problems solved by digital signage solutions, as well as the different types of options, optimal signage placement, and more.
Hospital Digital Signage Uses
People are accustomed to reading and engaging with digital signage in multiple areas of their lives from restaurants to retail stores and from airports to motels and hotels—as well as in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This type of signage often uses LED and LCD technologies, along with appropriate software to create content (written, visual, video, and more) and manage and distribute it to relevant places throughout the facility.
Leveraging digital signage in your healthcare facility allows you to communicate with patients, their families, staff, and more in a wide range of engaging, up to the minute ways. More specifically, healthcare displays can be used to:
- Help patients find their way around your facility with wayfinding signage.
- Entertain family members and visitors in your waiting areas.
- Educate people through broadcasting educational videos.
- Circulate bulletins and other key messaging.
- Promote facility shop and cafeteria hours and specials.
- Train new staff members and communicate urgent patient status information.
These are just some of the ways in which healthcare facilities use their digital signage solutions. You may have other impactful ways that are uniquely yours—and those will add onto the benefits of strategically using signage to assist, educate, entertain, promote, and more.
Benefits of Digital Signage
Digital signage is much more eye-catching than stagnant printed signs, especially since you can display images, play video, and more to connect with people—with interactive medical kiosks, for example, empowers people to participate in their own medical care processes or seek the information they need while visiting your facility. Plus, you can choose from a significant range of screen sizes, orientation, placement, and more to right-size your signage.
Here are more benefits.
Leveraging Novelty by Changing Content
With digital signage, you can regularly change what’s being displayed. One e-learning experiment, held at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, stated that one of the psychological triggers that helps grab people’s attention is new, changing stimuli since our minds are drawn to pay attention to things changing in our environment. To maximize the impact, change should include auditory, visual, and kinesthetic (body awareness) elements.
This ability to quickly change content allows you to share emergency broadcasts, highlight upcoming educational events, and promote gift shop and cafeteria specials. You can also share positive reviews that patients and their families have made about your healthcare facility, which can help to assure them that they’re in good hands. You can also broadcast your social media postings, broadening their reach and helping to further engage people in your facilities with your brand.
Pre-programming Content Changes
If your healthcare team needed to manually update your content to glean the benefits of frequent changes, this would be tedious and costly. With quality software that’s designed to streamline the content changes, though, you can capture the benefits of evolving content without the hassle.
Increasing Time of Attention
Multiple studies, including a Swedish traffic study, have concluded that digital signage captures people’s attention for a longer period of time. This increases your opportunities to educate, inform, entertain, and promote.
Reducing Wait Times
Patients can become frustrated by wait times that are perceived as being too long—and this is true across industries. Humans don’t like long lines at the bank, in a grocery store—or, as a study published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management shows, when checking into lodging facilities.
Self-serve technology, though, such as interactive digital kiosks, can lower wait times and therefore improve satisfaction. For that to happen, the study indicates, the technology chosen must be designed to perform well with the expected number of users.
Digital signage in surgical waiting rooms can keep anxious families informed about the progress of their loved ones’ operations, which can help to reduce stress and lower the number of questions they need to ask.
Digital Wayfinding Signage
Wayfinding signage is a specific type of digital guidance for patients, their families, vendors, and other visitors to your facilities, including but not limited to visiting medical staff. This signage helps people to effectively navigate through your healthcare facilities by providing directories, maps, and more.
To understand the value of digital wayfinding signage in your hospital, consider the mindset of patients and their families as they come to your facility. They’re stressed out and, if they aren’t sure how to get where they need to go, their levels of anxiety can skyrocket. At that point, it becomes even harder for them to logically consider where they need to go.
Using a British study to demonstrate the importance of having effective hospital wayfinding signage, researchers found that people miss nearly seven million outpatient hospital appointments annually in their country because of navigational challenges. The result? Wasted time for patients and your medical teams; unnecessary expense; added frustration; reduced patient satisfaction, which can harm your healthcare brand; and a missed opportunity to provide medical care and improve patient outcomes.
With quality signage, though, healthcare facilities can benefit from:
- Effective navigation into and through the facility to the appropriate locations and then back to their transportation
- Clear designations of public areas and restricted ones
- Increased efficiency, cost effectiveness, and patient satisfaction
When considering where to place hospital wayfinding signage, consider the big picture first: offer general guidance and then get specific, especially at points where people will need to make navigational decisions and where uncertainty or confusion might occur. This can begin with an analysis of what type of transportation patients may use to get to your facility (car, bus, Uber/Lyft, and so forth) and where they would park or get dropped off. From there:
- Consider exterior landmarks to appropriately direct people inside.
- Analyze the building layout.
- Take into account the greeting and check in desk placements.
- Create logical pathways for people to get to their destinations.
- Have people follow along your wayfinding signage placement plan.
- Adjust, as needed, where points of confusion still exist.
You can also use your wayfinding displays to emphasize your brand, broadcast emergency messages, and provide important informational bulletins.
Video Wall Solutions
Video wall solutions consist of multiple screens (at least two, often more) that are joined together to form a wall of video screens. This gives your facility the opportunity to project one large combined image or several of them simultaneously. How? Your content is sent to the digital screens by a processor, so you have the ability to scale and adjust what’s being shown in real time for the ideal content projection.
The obvious benefit is that bigger displays, overall, grab people’s attention much more effectively than smaller ones and can be seen from further away. With video wall solutions, as another screen is added, the display’s resolution increases, which makes it even more eye-catching. With video walls, you can continue to expand the surface of your screen, scaling it up without reducing image quality.
You can use video walls in lobbies, waiting rooms, and other public spaces to provide the entertainment, education, and communication that people now expect to see in reception areas. Some healthcare organizations like to display one large image to present a core message while others like to stream live video for real-time interactions or show multiple images within each screen to expand the content being shown to people in their facilities.
That’s the beauty of this type of hospital digital signage: the ability to flexibly provide content to meet goals. As you increase the number of screens within your video wall, you also boost your ability to scale your content up or down, as desired, and otherwise leverage creative options and possibilities.
So, where should you start? Some facilities start small with two to four screens while others go for optimal impact with up to one hundred of them. Some laser-focus on key messaging while others offer choices, allowing people to watch live television while also viewing branded messaging, which can include revenue-boosting advertising.
With MDM’s web-based software powering your video wall solutions, you can change what’s being viewed in literally seconds. This allows you to share announcements in a timely way, including when an emergency occurs.
Medical kiosks are another type of in-demand digital technology that, when strategically leveraged, can give your facilities a true competitive advantage. Most have interactive touchscreens, allowing you to engage with patients at key points along the healthcare journey. Some kiosks are designed to serve as patient check-in/registration locations; some allow patients to easily fill out online medical forms; and still others can perform baseline diagnostic tests.
Although each can offer unique features and benefits, here’s what PubMed concluded after conducting a broad review of literature: touch screen medical kiosks are an efficient and cost effective way to provide patient education and to improve healthcare. People who use them appreciate the “accuracy of information content, convenience with regard to both location and time available, and ease of use.”
Medical kiosks allow patients to manage more of their own healthcare needs, empowering them while freeing up your staff to spend their time on more crucial patient care tasks. Patients can watch relevant videos and find out more about healthcare services while medical facilities can enhance their brands and offer personalized marketing to patients and their families.
In short, medical kiosks can transform empty minutes that patients have spent in the past in waiting rooms into valuable connection points with them as they’re supplied with targeted educational and entertaining information.
Digital Signage Solutions for Internal Communications
Most of this guide has focused on how digital signage can help facilities like yours to streamline and enhance communication with patients and other visitors. You can also leverage the same technology to create digital bulletin boards for employees, delivering targeted messaging; providing training materials; and organizing schedule rotations, client intake information, and other internal needs.
You can provide real-time updates in emergency rooms and other urgent care locations where tasks must be flawlessly performed. Security alerts can quickly be shared to maximize staff safety and changes in patient queuing when a new emergency occurs can be seamlessly communicated along with whatever information is needed for optimal operations.
State of the Art Hospital Digital Signage Solutions Offered by MDM
We offer premier digital signage solutions for hospitals, as well as for senior living centers, and many other types of medical facilities. Cost effective hardware options include the following:
- Full HD monitors
- Interactive displays
- OLED displays
- Outdoor displays
- SuperSign™ TVs
- Ultra HD Monitors
- Ultra Stretch TVs
We go above and beyond the hardware that’s needed for signage communications, we also offer a web-based content management system (CMS) that’s user friendly and produces highly effective results. You can manage this CMS from any internet-connected desktop or laptop computer or even from a mobile device.
Our team of experts are here for you from start to finish as we help you to design and support the digital signage solutions that are right for your facilities and are within your budget. We offer hassle-free installation and ongoing technical support services—and our content creation and graphics team is here to bring your branded communication vision to life through text, logos, audio, animations, and video.
Plus, we leverage our big buying power to bring you a diverse range of hospital digital signage solutions and more at competitive pricing for an exceptional patient experience. Whether you need wayfinding signage, video wall solutions, medical kiosks, or another type of signage, we offer trusted brands that can allow you to realize the benefits of the technology along with your financial investment into the signage solutions of your choice.
For a free consultation about your facility’s needs, please contact MDM online or call 800-359-6741.