Healthcare organisations are becoming increasingly focused on patient-centric care and prioritising patient engagement initiatives. The “digital front door” is a hot topic, with the realisation that a strong digital first impression sets the scene for a positive patient journey. This involves digitising and automating initial touchpoints in the patient journey, such as making and changing appointments.
But what happens when the patient steps foot in your facility?
More often than not, this is where the digital and the physical worlds divide.
Hospitals are often heavily analogue, relying on people, permanent fixtures and paper to guide patients and communicate with staff. To improve and streamline experiences, healthcare providers need to examine their physical premises for opportunities to improve with digitised touchpoints.
In this article we explore the key benefits of digital signage in hospitals and how they add to the patient and visitor journey.
1. Enhancing Patient Engagement
When we empathise with patients and put ourselves in their shoes, we understand the stress and anxiety they may experience during their healthcare journey. Hospitals, with their labyrinth layouts, can be overwhelming, leaving patients unsure of how to find their way. In this context, Digital signage for hospitals emerges as a valuable ally, guiding the patient experience and reducing the stress of trying to get to appointments on time. From the moment they step into the facility to their ongoing interactions outside its walls, digital signage in a healthcare setting provides important visual cues and updates.
The most obvious is wayfinding support. From digital directories in building foyers to interactive maps and signage, or full-blown navigation apps, digital signage empowers patients to navigate the hospital with confidence. This positive impact can be further enhanced by providing patients with pre-arrival navigation support, equipping them with clear maps and parking and transport information.
Digital signage can also serve an important role in providing patients and visitors with educational and promotional updates. By strategically placing digital displays throughout waiting areas, lifts and corridors, organisations can provide informative content, promote ‘health and wellness’ and foundation initiatives, and offer interactive resources tailored to patients’ specific needs. Elevating patient engagement fosters a sense of empowerment and enhances their overall satisfaction.
On an operational level, digital signage can play a role in managing queues and check-ins. The integration of kiosks and calling displays enables seamless communication, further streamlining the patient journey. By integrating these operational aspects into a central digital signage solution, healthcare organisations can efficiently overlay with corporate or departmental messages, ensuring a cohesive information communication ecosystem.
2. Empowering Staff with Effective Communication
Digital signage is not limited to patient-facing applications; it also serves as a powerful tool for internal communication. By leveraging digital displays strategically positioned in staff areas, organisations can disseminate critical updates, training materials, and recognition for exceptional work. This ensures that employees stay informed, engaged, and aligned with the organisation’s goals and values, ultimately contributing to a positive work environment. Given that many healthcare employees spend little time at a computer, it is also a powerful communication channel in an environment where traditional methods such as emails and portals cannot be solely relied upon.
3. Ensuring Consistent Messaging
In the intricate landscape of healthcare communication, the challenge lies in maintaining consistency across different departments and locations. A centralised digital signage solution for hospitals resolves this issue by providing a single platform to manage and control content distribution. It empowers organisations to maintain consistent messaging throughout the facility or district while also offering departmental control and localisation for specific needs. Leveraging templates for localisation messaging is another effective way of maintaining consistency. Embracing this centralised approach ensures a cohesive corporate identity and communications strategy while improving the overall experience for patients, visitors, and staff alike.
In the choreography of patient engagement, digital signage for hospitals assumes a role beyond tactical implementation. Rather, it should seamlessly integrate into the overarching patient experience framework, becoming an inherent part of the patient engagement strategy. In doing this, organisations can orchestrate a seamless and engaging journey for individuals.
This orchestration transcends the confines of the facility, considering the patient’s experience both outside and inside the facility. For example, digital signage can be utilised on the exterior to provide wayfinding information, and parking instructions, or promote health or foundation campaigns. Inside the facility, it can guide patients to their appointments, display wait times, and offer educational content to keep patients informed and engaged.
This strategic alignment of digital signage with the patient journey amplifies its impact, resulting in a connected and purposeful encounter that elevates the patient experience.
5. Extending Engagement Across Physical and Digital Touchpoints
The patient experience extends beyond the confines of the healthcare facility. By leveraging digital signage, digital forms and patient passports, patient portals, and other digital tools, healthcare organisations can maintain a continuous and experience for patients. From accessing health information at home to receiving personalised messages when they arrive at the facility, patients feel supported and engaged throughout their healthcare journey. This integration between physical and digital touchpoints enhances convenience, communication, and overall patient satisfaction. messages when they arrive at the facility, patients feel supported and engaged throughout their healthcare journey. This integration between physical and digital touchpoints enhances convenience, communication, and overall patient satisfaction.
6. Leveraging Existing Physical and Digital Assets for Maximum Benefit
A critical part of strategically using digital signage solutions for hospitals is to ensure you can reuse and leverage existing assets. Many of your existing digital screens should be compatible with a digital signage software system, which minimises the rollout cost. The system can also be integrated with your content management system (CMS), to ensure an easy experience for your communications team. Other integrations may also be needed to provide real-time updates on wait times, room usage and so on. Alternatively, content feeds may come from other sources, such as weather, social media or live TV. This strategic orchestration of technology supports the optimal utilisation of your pre-existing assets, enabling a connected and efficient digital signage deployment.
As the digital front door ushers patients into their healthcare journey, the corridors beyond stand ready to support them with a symphony of seamlessly integrated touchpoints.
Digital signage solutions for hospitals hold tremendous potential to transform communication and elevate experiences in healthcare organisations, weaving coherence across departments. By recognising their versatility and value beyond traditional expectations, organisations can support patients both outside and inside the facility, bridging the digital-physical gap By embracing a centralised solution that supports consistent messaging, empowers staff, and integrates with other digital tools, healthcare organisations can create a seamless and engaging experience that enhances patient satisfaction and contributes to better outcomes.