Digital Signage: The Best Medicine for Healthcare
Digital signage in the healthcare space is a natural fit—and it can perhaps be the best medicine for effective communication. Think about it for a minute—in any healthcare facility or hospital setting, facilities managers serve both an external audience—patients and their families—as well as an internal audience—staffers and administrators. Not only can the integration of digital signage lead to creating better experiences for patients and their families, it can also help facilitate better internal communications and enhance corporate culture. Those are wins all the way around. Let’s explore the benefits of integrating digital signage in the healthcare environment a little more fully.
Allows for Real-Time Communication
One of the main benefits of using digital signage as a cornerstone of your communications strategies is the ability to provide real-time communication in the healthcare environment—the screen’s flexible ability to be multiple things at once makes this possible. Display of instant information through automated push notifications or even RSS feeds can provide both hospital patients and associates with information on the go, as it happens and as they need it. For staff, the dynamic nature of the medical facility can prove a barrier when it comes to keeping up with internal information. Meetings, construction and maintenance scheduling, and internal events can all be displayed and cycled through—and a quick glance is enough to keep your internal teams on track, efficient, and productive.
Provides Better Information
Not only can digital signage provide real-time information and updates, it can also provide better information. In the case of emergencies, for example, the alarm bell and a flashing light don’t clearly communicate what is going on, just that something is going on. In cases where some staff members are hard to reach or performing critical tasks, such as in the operating room or sealed laboratories, clarification can be essential. The need for clarification extends to areas populated areas by both hospital general staff and patients, as clarifying information can help to keep levels of panic and stress down in more volatile atmospheres.
Provide Entertainment and Distraction
The Alfred I. duPont Hospital, a part of Nemours Children’s Health System and located in Wilmington, Delaware, provides a perfect example of using digital signage to provide entertainment and distraction to hospital visitors, especially children. In 2014, Alfred I. duPont opened a “Discovery Zone” on their premise, a fifty-foot by nine-foot stretch of video wall that features Microsoft’s Kinect gesture features and interaction technology. Up to 30 interactors, adults and children alike, can manipulate and affect the on-screen flora and fauna at a time. These types of digital signage might seem extreme, but adding entertainment to a hospital setting can make wait-time much more enjoyable, much less stressful, and a better experience for all.
There are many options once you decide to go down this path, and starting smaller is totally fine. Smaller screens that provide compelling content such as weather, local and national news, Twitter and RSS feeds and even health care tips can lighten up a patient’s stay. When family is visiting, someone might be hungry; a digital menu near the loved one’s room might mean a lot more to them than you realize. There are many options, all customizable to your unique needs.