Digital signage in healthcare facilities is proving beneficial to practitioners, staff and patients – not just in delivering information, but in educating and instructing too.
In the waiting room
Patients in waiting rooms want, more than anything, to know how long they are expected to wait. Digital signage enables administrative teams to offer a live service board on expected consultation times next to patient names, and to announce any delays before they become problematic. Digital signage can also be utilised to show important healthcare messaging, advertise additional services and boost a medical institution’s level of engagement with its customers. For example, many NHS facilities place advertisements for the winter flu jab or stop smoking services along side waiting times and patient names. Hospital visits can be stressful times, and so enabling waiting areas with distractions such as live TV broadcasts and even touchscreen children’s games can help brighten the mood.
On the ward
For staff, knowing which ward and bed a patient is in makes daily rounds and meal times easier to navigate and more efficient. Digital signage placed outside ward doors means that visitors can benefit from information such as visiting times, where their family member is, and also be reminded of basic healthcare practices such as washing hands before entering or the fact that children may not be allowed on the ward. Communication between staff is improved by digital signage too: some NHS wards enable digital signage to host reminder information; such as a particular patient’s dietary needs; their age and complications; and even the nick name they prefer to go by, enhancing staff and patient engagement.
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Hospitals and medical facilities are often sprawling masses set across several interlinked buildings. Here digital signage wayfinding comes in to its own, not only showing building information, departments and interactive maps, but also by delivering instructions on how to get to a particular department and how long it will likely take. For older and hard of sight patients, digital displays offer up larger, more easily readable text and information; and some displays even offer induction loops for hearing aids and spoken word audio instructions.
For the professionals
On ward stations, nurses stations, pre-theatre rooms and staff rooms, digital signage is becoming an important means of updating and informing staff. A typical hospital theatre will see around 10 operations a day, according to the NHS. Scheduling and patient information; nurse and surgeon information; operating procedure and more can all be delivered directly to the theatre via digital signage. In A&E departments, digital signage can be quickly and effectively utilised to tell staff and visitors of an inbound emergency: instructing patients to clear an area, and delivering details of the emergency and what equipment and specialist staff are required.
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