Running a Digital Signage Pilot Project: All Your Questions Answered

The EOFY is an ideal time to test digital solutions to evaluate their impact and whether they belong in next year’s budget. Running a small-scale digital signage pilot is a great way to prove value at minimal risk, at a time that makes sense in the budget cycle.

But if you’ve never done it before, there are usually lots of questions. Here are the most common FAQs about running a digital signage pilot project.

What type of digital solution makes a good pilot?

There’s no one-size-fits all answer as it depends on your individual challenges and goals. Improving the patient and visitor experience is often high on the list, followed by staff engagement. In its simplest form, a digital solution could be zoned screens in reception areas, wait rooms and/or staff areas that provide a mixture of local and corporate messages. Manual directories can simply be replaced with digital ones that are easier and lower cost to maintain and can greatly improve the way patients and visitors interact and find their way around. Taking it a step further, interactive directories are well-suited to pilots because they provide a wealth of data for evaluation. Wayfinding screens with maps and navigation information can go hand-in-hand with digital directories to help visitors get to their destination faster.

How should I select a pilot site?

Site inspection for a digital signage project

Inspecting a hospital lift well in preparation for digital signage installation.

It’s important to select a site that has traffic coming through as this will give you the fastest indication of the value that digital signage can provide. Wait areas are well-suited for patient communications as are lift areas, while staff break rooms are ideal to communicate with employees. The great thing about digital is all the statistics and reports that are available, so you’ll get a very clear picture of what information is useful to visitors – and what isn’t.

How big should a pilot study be?

It doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Even a couple of screens are a good way to start. You can begin with a single department, or simply the highest traffic and/or wait areas.

How long does a digital signage pilot take?

Three months is normally a good length of time to prove the value of a digital solution. For high traffic spaces, it can be faster. We will set some key objectives for evaluation and then provide data at the end to assess effectiveness.

What hardware will I need?

We can advise and supply all necessary hardware. We are hardware-agnostic, so if you need it, we can advise on the best hardware for your needs, without being tied to particular vendors. Alternatively, it’s often possible to use existing hardware. As an average, a 55-inch screen is a common size for hospitals, but it depends on your space and requirements.

How do I manage the solution?

Five Faces Health provides a unique online platform that makes this super easy. Content can be controlled remotely, even from a mobile device, with the ability to schedule when it starts and stops. You can control content centrally from your HQ, while handing over authority for local site personnel to control relevant local content. The same goes for directories and feedback systems.

How much does a digital signage pilot project cost?

Pilots range in size, but are typically a $5 – $50k investment to get a realistic idea on whether it will work for you. It doesn’t have to be a big, expensive, complicated project to evaluate the effectiveness in meeting your goals.

What impact will it have on staff and volunteers?

There’s always a lot of interest around something so visible! Staff normally welcome strategies that free up their time from providing information and directions. We always stress that directories and wayfinding solutions are there to complement volunteers – not replace them. They are a tool that helps to provide clear information quickly and provide service to more visitors with the same resources. With staff-focused digital screens, employees typically enjoy getting relevant communication and being kept up-to-date on what’s happening, particularly during refits, refurbs and when new departments are added. As a transient workforce, emails are not often seen, and a few don’t even have emails!

What will I have to do?

Our goal is to keep things simple and focused. We take care of all the hardware, including purchase, installation, and liaising with your IT teams. For a pilot, we’ll normally take care of the software too, helping you to load content, provide regular reporting and set the pilot’s goals and evaluate results.

How should I measure success?

This is always very important in a pilot project and we are here to make sure it’s done properly – that it’s the right solution that adds real value. This begins even before we do anything, by discussing the goals for the pilot and how we will evaluate them. The beauty of interactive screens is that they provide lots of useful data in the back end, such as statistics on how many people are using them, what information is popular – and what’s not. But whatever solution you choose, we will always work with you up front to set expectations and measures of success before the trial commences, and provide a report at the end of it.

Have you done this before?

We are health specialists, with extensive experience providing hospitals, allied health and health retail with digital solutions that include wayfinding and directories, wait-time and queue management, digital tablet kiosks, patient communications and entertainment, beacons and apps.

Post by Yazz Krishna

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