The communication gap between doctors, nurses and their patients is especially high in ER departments and hospitals with a large patient population, mainly due to stress, uncertainty and inconsistent information. Hospitals try hard to rapidly establish the trust and rapport necessary to provide appropriate and superior medical care, but it’s not an easy task Healthcare digital signage is one of the most effective ways to improve hospital communication and patient welfare. Besides the widely-adopted wayfinding and menu boards, we have identified a couple more ways to utilize digital signage to educate patients.
Interactive Health Information
Kiosks, when placed in high traffic areas such as hospital lobbies, clinic waiting areas and cafeterias, can provide interactive health information that could help patients participate more in their own healthcare and make their waiting time more productive. Interactive healthcare digital signage can also disseminate multifaceted information that patients may find useful.
For example, hospital signage kiosks can educate patients about the nature of their illness by displaying more detailed information and a guide on how to communicate better with their physicians. One study pointed out that as patients are better educated about the nature of their illnesses, they can exert more control over the decisions that are being made regarding their own care. In learning more about their illness, patients can be more assertive with their physician, empowering them to get the information they need regarding their treatment options.
Patient self-service is becoming the trend for most hospitals, especially in ambulatory settings. Interactive healthcare digital signage screens can be placed in lobbies and waiting areas, enabling patients to do self-service tasks such as checking themselves in or making a co-pay. Check-in hospital signage can not only speed up the process for patients, but they can lessen the workload of administrative staff so they can focus more on people that need special assistance or have more complicated requirements.
Four Winds Interactive (FWI) hospital signage kiosks can be customized relative to the needs of every healthcare facility. Check-in hospital signage kiosks can be linked with the hospital’s registration system through FWI’s Visual Communications Cloud and its proprietary Integration Framework tool. Integration Framework functions as a secure adapter that enables information from the hospital system to be pushed to the digital signage player.
Managing Uncertainties in Waiting Areas
Families of patients undergoing surgery experience a lot of stress while they’re waiting for the surgery to end. Most of the time, hospitals try to provide comfort through physical means like installing more comfortable chairs, lowering television volume and putting out a free pot of coffee. However, one study revealed that due to the huge amount of uncertainty that accompanies surgeries, people in waiting areas experience a lot of misunderstanding and frustration.
Fortunately, hospital signage in waiting areas can help improve this communication gap by displaying information that would address common concerns in the waiting room, such as how long the procedure will take and what the process is that the patient will undergo. Staff can also assure family members that the patient is in good hands and can fill them in on when the surgery will conclude and when they can finally see their loved one.
Entertainment in Waiting Areas
Another good approach in managing anxiety and stress in waiting areas is to provide entertainment. Other than traditional television channels showing sports and news, hospital signage is a good way to play custom videos that can give a sense of comfort and assurance. Healthcare digital signage can play patient testimonials of their journey toward healing and recovery, as this can be a good way to reassure other patients and their families. In addition, doctors, nurses and hospital staff can be introduced to patients through light and informative videos that demonstrate their experience and expertise, assuring both patients and their families of a successful treatment.
Healthcare digital signage is a good tool to improve patient communication by educating them about the things that they can do to make their diagnosis, treatment and recovery faster. Bear in mind, though, that an effective hospital signage solution is just one side of the story. Quality content such as patient tips and testimonials, together with proper hospital staff training on how to provide relevant, timely and transparent communication, are all major contributors to overall patient satisfaction and welfare.