Helpful Placement Tips for Hospital Wayfinding Signage

When patients and their families enter a hospital, they’re stressed out—and, if they can’t find where they need to go, their anxiety levels will increase, maybe even skyrocket as all of the hallways and doors begin to look exactly the same.

This is a significant problem, with one British study showing that nearly seven million outpatient hospital appointments are missed each year there because of navigational problems. This wastes time for patients and medical staff; costs money; frustrates everyone involved; and represents a missed opportunity to improve patient outcomes. Plus, the patients will likely complain about the lack of directions, which can damage the healthcare brand.

As the patients or guests continue to look for their destination, they will probably end up asking busy healthcare staff for directions—which can also lead to plenty of frustration.

The solution, of course, is optimal wayfinding solutions. How should is crucial digital signage in hospitals or other medical facilities be placed? This post offers strategies.

Wayfinding Signage Pathways in Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

At a high level, the goal is to direct patients, families, visitors, vendors, and visiting staff from car garages, parking lots, and hospital entryways to their destinations—and then back to their transportation.

Then, although one main goal is to get people to appropriate sections of the hospital, they should also let them know which areas are restricted and which ones are available to the public, which helps to enhance safety and security in the facilities. Another goal of this type of signage is to manage the directions in which people walk and how they circulate throughout the building and outdoor spaces.

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of digital wayfinding placement, consider the big picture, including:

  • Types of transportation that people might use to get to your facility
  • Where they would park or drop off riders
  • Exterior landmarks to guide people inside
  • How the building is laid out
  • Logical pathways for people to head to destinations
  • Floor and room numbering systems
  • Greeting/check in desk placements

Also consider what’s unique to your facility and list navigational pathways where visitors to your facilities experience the most uncertainty or confusion.

Wayfinding Principles

According to International Health Facility Guidelines, it’s important to “create well-structured paths” without overwhelming someone with too many options. This starts with an overall site plan of the facility in the main reception area. Then, hospital wayfinding signage should be placed, according to these guidelines, “at decision points to assist in making wayfinding decisions.”

Signage should be placed in key areas, which include the following.

Marking Facility Entrances and Exits

All should be clear from all reasonable angles of approach. When there are multiple entrances and exits, common language should be used on signs throughout, although it often makes sense to fully highlight the main point of egress.

Leveraging Interior Design

Inside, the hospital is typically divided into zones and spaces within each zone. Use signage to differentiate among them and to indicate when someone is leaving one area and approaching or entering another. If there are memorable landmarks, such as a piece of sculpture, you can point those out to orient people as they approach an area.

Orienting, Directing, and Identifying

Optimal hospital wayfinding solutions will provide all three types of information:

  • Orientation: These signs include maps, floor plans, and directories, offering “you are here” notifications and allowing them to compare their location with their destination.
  • Directional: These signs point out routes and directions, using arrows and other visuals. Some hospitals may decide to use color coding, icons, or other imagery to distinguish zones and areas.
  • Identification: These signs include the name and/or function of the building/department/room that a person is in or approaching. Identifying signs often supplement digital wayfinding signage.

Walking the Pathways

When it’s time to determine the most helpful placement of your hospital wayfinding signage, have select people walk through the facility with a variety of destinations in mind. Ideally, they are new to the facility or at least relatively so. Have them mark down where they got confused about where to go and at what points digital signage could have helped them.

Through this process, you can identify decision points where visitors must decide whether to go straight or to turn (and in what direction). You can also decide where a patient would want confirmation that, yes, they’re still navigating the right path. Signage should be helpful for people approaching from any possible direction.

As part of this process, if there’s current signage, ask the people who are walking through your facilities to determine if there is over-signage at any point. If alternative paths exist, discuss how much information is helpful and what crosses over into too much.

A Few More Tips

As you design wayfinding pathways in your facilities, consider how to provide general information and then narrow it down to more specific details, as needed, keeping all as streamlined as possible. Also consider emergency exit signage needs.

Hospital Wayfinding Solutions at MDM Commercial

If you need assistance in deciding the most optimal digital wayfinding signage for your healthcare facilities, please contact us online or call 800-359-6741. We offer a wide range of options with an experienced team ready and willing to help you choose models with precisely the right features and benefits for your needs.

You can count on the latest in quality LED and LCD hardware and premier operating software. We take the stress out of planning by guiding you through the selection process and then we also offer excellent setup and installation services to take you from start to finish.

MDM can customize your digital wayfinding interfaces as our content creation and graphics team crafts messaging that’s enhanced with branded imagery to dynamically communicate with patients and their families, plus vendors, visitors, and more. We use easy to read typography and easy to recognize pictorials.

Our decades of experience translates into seamless hospital wayfinding solutions that are unsurpassed in the industry, fitting your unique needs and budget.

The Ultimate Guide to Hospital Digital Signage Solutions

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.

If you’d like to discuss your unique hospital digital signage needs, please contact MDM online or call 800-359-6741.

hospital digital signage

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

types of hospital digital signageDigital 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.

Offering Updates

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

hospital video wall solutionsVideo 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

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:

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.

Is Your Hotel Spring Break- Ready? MDM Lodging Shares Ideas

The spring break season has begun. How is your hotel cashing in?

March means the start of the spring break season – one of the busiest for hotels nationwide, but particularly those in sunny, beachside locales. Are you ready for the onslaught of college students ready to have a great time and spend money in your hotel and local shops? MDM Lodging offers a few ideas for cashing in on this classic American tradition.

  • Take your message “where the boys (and girls) are”: The 1960 film, Where the Boys Are, is credited with making spring break a nationwide collegiate tradition. Four female friends drive to Fort Lauderdale in hopes of having some fun in the sun and perhaps enjoying a week-long fling with a cute boy. Take a cue and take your message where virtually every college age individual is hanging out these days – on social media sites. Post your spring break promotions and specials, along with some convincing reasons for spending the annual holiday at your hotel.
  • Look outside your front door: Connect with local restaurants, bars, night clubs and attractions that appeal to spring breakers and create co-promotions that benefit you both. Such guest perks might include discounts, free drinks or gift cards for your guests to enjoy.
  • Take advantage of your captive audience: Use your hotel guestroom TVs and digital signage to let guests know about specials at your on-site restaurants, local events, area attractions, etc. It’ll add to your guests’ spring break experience and help take some of the burden off your already busy hotel staff.
  • Play it safe: It’s an unfortunate fact that partying spring breakers can get out of hand. Make sure they and your other guests are safe by beefing up security. Post expectations of spring breakers to keep noise and late night shenanigans to a minimum and hire extra security for the March-April spring break season. You may even want to consider dedicating a particular floor or area for spring breakers. This will help minimize disturbances to other guests.
  • Don’t forget your littlest guests: Remember that not all spring breakers are college students. Many families with school-age children take advantage of the spring break holiday, too. Help them enjoy their stay by offering family-friendly parties or events onsite, specials at your hotel restaurants and cafes, or discount deals to local kid-friendly attractions.

From all of us here at MDM Lodging, have a safe, fun and profitable spring break season!

Happy Employees Mean Happy Hotel Guests, Happier Hoteliers

Hotel workers experience high levels of stress. MDM Lodging offers tips.

Search all you want and you’ll never find a job that doesn’t come with some degree of stress. As rewarding as it is, the hotel and hospitality business is no different.

Hotel workers daily deal with wearied parents, cranky kids and on-edge business travelers – all of whom can make for some very demanding clients. Across the board, American employees miss upwards of 100 million workdays due to stress. Plus, up to 75 percent of disease can be attributed to stress. Insomnia, ulcers and depression all can be caused by workplace stress. And, according to a recent survey, hotel and restaurant workers experience employee burnout at a rate of one in seven. All those days off work, and employee turnover due to burnout, can place even more stress on co-workers and put a dent in your healthcare facility’s profitability.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to help your employees better manage workplace stress:

  1. Make sure that managers are well trained in matters of employee distress and approachable;
  2. Provide adequate staffing and training;
  3. Encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits including exercise, good nutrition and plenty of sleep and breaks;
  4. Give employees recognition and rewards for their accomplishments and contributions;
  5. Take as much burden off employees as possible. One great way is to install digital signage with content that answers guests’ most commonly asked questions.

Got more great stress-reducing ideas to share? Post them on MDM Lodging’s Facebook fan page. And if you’d like to install digital signage in your hotel or inn, call 800-359-6741.

Hospital TV Systems Help Reduce Stress, Boost Efficiency

Happy employees make for a better, more efficient and profitable workplace.

Virtually any job has some amount of stress. But hospital workers are at a particularly high risk for job-related stress and tension simply because of their environment. Luckily, there are ways to help healthcare employees manage.

Many hospital workers must face patients battling life-threatening injuries and illnesses every day. That alone can wear on anyone. Add tight schedules, understaffing, paperwork, intricate or malfunctioning equipment, staff politics, demanding patients, and patient deaths – all part of the daily hospital experience – and you’ve got a very high-stress situation. Across the board, American employees miss upwards of 100 million workdays due to stress, and up to 75 percent of disease can be attributed to stress. These statistics can be higher among hospital workers than others. And all those missed days can put a dent in your healthcare facility’s profitability.

MDM Healthcare offers several products and systems designed to help alleviate much of the stress hospital employees including physicians, nurses, orderlies and administrative workers deal with on a daily basis. Our digital television systems installed in patient rooms and guest lobbies deliver entertainment options including DirecTV. Add our fully customizable patient education systems, and turn that in-room television set into a learning center with information and programming tailored to a specific patient. These targeted, interactive programs answer dozens of questions that patients have about their conditions and treatments that otherwise would take your employee’s time.

MDM Healthcare’s digital signage systems also help answer questions often asked of employees by patients’ visitors, including those concerning onsite and local amenities like hotels, restaurants and gift shops.

Answering questions and keeping patients and visitors happily occupied allows your staff to focus on their more pressing duties, improving efficiency and morale. Call MDM Healthcare at 800-670-0929 and speak with a specialist about your customized systems today.

New Year’s Resolutions for Hoteliers

Hoteliers are looking forward to a prosperous 2013. MDM Lodging offers tips.

The New Year is fast upon us, and many hoteliers are looking forward to a successful 2013. MDM Lodging offers a few New Year’s resolution suggestions to help ensure a prosperous coming year.

  1. Resolve to upgrade. MDM Lodging’s high-definition, flat-screen television sets are a huge step up in quality over older, boxier sets. They lend an upscale feel and offer many more programming and viewing options.
  2. Resolve to comfort. New hotel furniture, fixtures and equipment can turn your inn into a true home away from home for wearied guests.
  3. Resolve to inspire. Digital signage placed in hotel lobbies, hallways, guestrooms, and common areas like pools and onsite restaurants, spas and gift shops can help disseminate information and answer guests’ most commonly asked questions, and to suggest great ideas to help travelers better enjoy their stays. Use digital signs to let guests know about restaurant menu items and specials; swimming pool, spa and gift shop hours; and local tourist attractions and happenings.
  4. Resolve to ease. MDM Lodging’s Digital signage doesn’t benefit your guests only. It also takes a huge burden off your employees, who would otherwise spend far too much time answering common guest questions. And as every entrepreneur knows, happy employees make for happier clients.

Today’s travelers are becoming increasingly savvy. They’re demanding higher quality and more comfortable stays. MDM Lodging can help you deliver what guests expect, boosting your competitiveness and your bottom line. Contact us today at 800-673-0929 or via our online email form.

From all of us here at MDM Lodging, have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Holiday Content Ideas for Hospital Digital Signage & TV Systems

Holidays can be tough when they’re spent in the hospital. Digital signage and TV systems content can help ease stress and lift spirits.

Holidays are meant to be a joyous time. But when they’re spent in a hospital bed, it can be a stressful time of year for both the patient and those who love him or her. To help ease that stress and lift spirits a bit, MDM Healthcare offers a few ideas for content for your hospital digital signage and TV systems during the Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year holidays:

  • Holiday / winter health tips
  • Slideshows of local holiday decorations
  • Fun info bits on holiday tradition origins and history
  • Info on holiday specials at hospital cafes and gift stores
  • Inspirational messages
  • Holiday films

Got more holiday content ideas? Share them on our Facebook fan page.

And from all of us here at MDM Healthcare – Have a safe and happy holiday!

Use Digital Signage to Improve Patient & Visitor Experience – Top 10 Content Tips

Digital signage for hospitals and healthcare facilities can improve the experience for your patients and their visitors.

Digital signage by MDM Healthcare is affordable, easy to operate and can improve the experience for patients and visitors at your hospital or healthcare facility, plus take a burden off your staff. By posting carefully selected, helpful content, you can inform your patients and their visitors of all sorts of information that they’d otherwise have to request of your nursing and administrative staff.

MDM Healthcare offers ten top recommendations for digital signage content displayed in your facility’s patient rooms, waiting rooms and hallways:

  1. Welcome message
  2. Visiting hours
  3. Information or nursing station locations
  4. Onsite café location, hours and menu items
  5. Gift shop location and hours
  6. Family & waiting room locations
  7. WiFi accessible room locations
  8. Parking lot info and directions
  9. Nearby hotel and restaurant locations
  10. Healthcare tips

MDM Healthcare’s high definition televisions come in 37-inch, 42-inch and 47-inch models. Accompanying EZ Sign digital signage software allows you and your staff to easily edit content by selecting pre-installed content templates, uploading images, filling in text and exporting content. Simply download your work to a flash drive and plug it into the TV.

To get your customized digital signage system, contact MDM Healthcare at 800-673-0929.

Use Digital Signage to Improve Guest Experience – Top 10 Content Tips

Digital signage in your hotel lobby, pool area and on-site restaurants and bars can boost your guests’ experience and take some burden off your employees.

Digital signage by MDM Lodging is affordable, easy to operate and can improve your guests’ experience while taking a load off your employees. By posting carefully selected, helpful content, you can inform your hotel guests of all sorts of information that they’d otherwise have to request of your front desk clerks and concierge staff. Ten top recommendations for digital signage content displayed in public areas including your lobby, pool area and on-site restaurants and bars are:

  1. Welcome message
  2. Swimming pool, spa and restaurant hours
  3. Room service offerings
  4. Restaurant and gift shop specials
  5. Local happenings
  6. Local places of interest
  7. Check-out time reminders
  8. Interesting local history facts
  9. Lifestyle & health tips
  10. Local show times

MDM Lodging’s digital signage software and HDTVs are surprisingly easy to install and use. Top quality high definition televisions come in 37-inch, 42-inch and 47-inch models. Accompanying EZ Sign digital signage software allows you and your staff to edit content by selecting a pre-installed content template, uploading an image, editing text and exporting content. Simply download your work to a flash drive and plug it into the TV.

To get your digital signage system, contact MDM Lodging at 800-359-6741.