11 Benefits of Digital Wayfinding for the Healthcare Industry
How do you feel when you step into a large building or facility and can’t find your way around?
It is really frustrating to search through long directories, roam through endless hallways or take wrong turns. Adding to the stress is the confusing directional signs or total lack of them. Finding someone to assist you can also be challenging.
In a hospital facility, this frustration becomes more exaggerated.
Hospital patients are already dealing with their health situation and attempting to find their way around the facility is just added stress. People want to get in and out of the hospital without worries and hassles. They want to find information, locate the doctor’s clinic or navigate all the way from their parking space to their appointment.
Poor navigation is a disadvantage to any healthcare institution as this usually leads to more frustrated patients, missed appointments and staff interruption. Everyone, from patients to visitors, arriving at any hospital facility needs assistance – whether it’s a routine check-up or visiting a loved one.
If you’re managing a healthcare facility, you need to find ways to lower that anxiety or not add to the burden of your patients and visitors as they find their way around. What you need is are simple and hassle free wayfinding tools to help patients and visitors find their way faster and with less stress.
The solution: Digital Wayfinding Signage for Hospitals
What is Digital Wayfinding Signage?
Digital wayfinding maps are interactive digital screens or kiosks that help visitors reach their destination. It allows users to search and select information, and view detailed directions in a rich, graphic representation that will guide them to where they are heading.
Compared to a static map that doesn’t provide custom information, digital wayfinding maps are customized based on the information choices set by the user. This way, healthcare visitors can easily navigate around the facility faster and stress-free. At the same time, digital wayfinding maps also provide essential benefits to doctors, nurses, and the entire healthcare administration.
Here are 11 reasons why digital wayfinding tools in the healthcare industry are very important.
1. Serves confused patients
Most hospital patients are already distracted when they arrive at the hospital premises due to their illness or health condition. Since they don’t feel well or are anxious about upcoming tests or surgery, they may not be thinking clearly. Digital wayfinding tools can assist them as they find their way around a large healthcare facility. With a clear set of directions and information, their stress is lowered and they can get where they are going faster and easier.
2. Provides faster emergency assistance
People experiencing immediate help need to act fast and get to the emergency room as soon as possible. They need to find their way as soon as they enter the facility. With a digital wayfinding tool, anyone aiding them can easily navigate their way to emergency departments and insure they receive treatment as soon as possible. Mobile wayfinding can even take them from their home to the correct parking lot and into their final destination.
3. Alleviates stress of worried families
Hospital visitors are often distraught as they struggle to find their loved ones in a healthcare facility. Visiting a loved one can be an emotionally-stressful event. Digital wayfinding tools can alleviate that stress by providing a positive visitor experience. By using either kiosks or mobile options, visitors can conveniently make it through the confusing maze of buildings, complex corridors, parking lots, and banks of elevators.
4. Boosts efficiency of doctors, nurses and hospital employees
Healthcare institutions have not only doctors who check on their patients but visiting physicians who come to give lectures or provide training as well. With the help of digital wayfinding tools, visiting doctors, aides, consultants and other support staff feel most welcomed as they enter the facility. Aside from wayfinding services, screens can also be used to share training opportunities and other relevant information.
5. Clears congested hallways
Patients and visitors who can’t find a specific doctor’s clinic, hospital rooms or information they need tend to congest the hallways. Using a digital wayfinding tool, patients and visitors can quickly reach their destination. This improves traffic flow through busy areas. When a hallway is clear, proper assistance, especially for emergency situations, can be provided quickly.
6. Improves patient satisfaction
Visits to hospitals and doctors’ clinics can be an intimidating and stressful experience for most patients when the hospital wayfinding is lackluster. As they want to get in and out of their doctor’s appointments faster, digital wayfinding tools can perfectly serve this need. Healthcare providers can quickly serve their patients who arrive on time. This also creates a warm and engaging atmosphere for visitors, patients, doctors, and healthcare staffs.
7. Relieves strain on hospital employees
When hospital patients and visitors need assistance in getting around the facility, most reception and information areas get congested. Some people also stop along the hallways, interrupting busy nurses and doctors. Digital wayfinding tools reduce the need for staff to direct visitors all the time.
8. Updates information easily
In large healthcare facilities, doctors and departments regularly transfer to new locations. Reflecting the never-ending changes on hospital wayfinding can be a real challenge especially if one is using static maps and directories. Outdated information causes lost patients and all the problems associated with that. Updating traditional signs comes at a cost. But with digital signage, updating maps and directories can be quickly done with just a few keystrokes. All those changes are reflected in real-time at no additional cost.
9. Serves as a tool for information
Digital signage serves several purposes aside from being a wayfinding solution. Whether placed in hallways, cafeterias, patient rooms or doctors’ offices, it not only communicates but educates as well. Its large screen can be used to share news, health related information, public advisories, wellness awareness, and more. It can also be used for advertising purposes for additional revenue streams.
10. Works as an emergency communication channel
During emergency situations, it’s vital that alert messages are communicated to everyone. Digital signage can be used as an emergency broadcast system across the facility. This increases awareness and assists people during emergency situations. It can also display basic first aid information and relevant government agency phone numbers. Content can be customized and shown in real-time across the entire property.
11. Shows care for patient’s well-being
Digital signage enhances the quality of life and makes the promotion of wellness more engaging. By making your healthcare facility as helpful, informative and trustworthy as you can, you are giving your patients and visitors a great experience with hospital wayfinding. Healthcare facilities that make use of interactive digital maps – which serve the needs of patients – care about providing the most technologically advanced treatment possible. This leads to long-term loyalty and trust. From increasing patient’s satisfaction to decreasing their stress level, the benefits that digital signage provide to visitors and staff alike are endless.
The Bottom Line
It’s time to stop your visitors and patients from having to hunt for their destination. Make sure you are giving your visitors, patients, doctors, nurses, and other staff and employees a positive experience all the time.
Talk with one of our digital signage specialists to discover how your healthcare facility can benefit more by adding a digital signage system to current wayfinding signage.