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Key Considerations When Designing Digital Signage at a Health Care Facility

When you think about digital signage, you likely think about signage positioned at hotels, convention centers, resorts, and even places like The Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney. These types of places have digital signage in place to help guests and visitors easily determine how to get from where they are to where they want to go.

Similarly, a growing number of health care facilities – from sprawling hospital campuses to smaller private practices – incorporate digital signage to make navigating what can feel like a labyrinth as easy as, well, following a string left behind by a gladiator on his way to a run-in with a Minotaur.

But while several aspects of digital signage are location agnostic – wayfinding, for example, is a common service digital signage provides, be it at a hotel, government facility, public high school, or health care facility – signage at health care facilities plays a key role in fostering an atmosphere of well-being and guidance, so when designing a digital signage solution at a health care facility, you must keep in mind the following.

Audience
Hotels have it easy, when planning a digital signage solution. The audience at a hotel includes guests, employees, and, if the hotel is large enough, people using meeting rooms. The audience at a health care facility is not so easily defined. During any given day, health care facilities can be visited by well people on site for an annual visit, parents concerned about their infants’ high fever, victims of accidents or violence, family members, friends, staff, visitors… and that’s just when thinking about the people who are in and out of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital during a typical episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,” which, while fictional, is likely fairly representative of the types of people you must think about when planning a digital signage solution.

Not only must you consider your audience, but you also must consider their reasons for visiting and why they may need to use digital signage. Position digital signage in a waiting room, and you can prevent someone feeling like they’ve been waiting forever just by displaying current wait times.

Digital signage also can be the perfect way to display messaging that will connect with your patients and visitors. Install interactive displays in children’s wings, so they have something to do while waiting. Display heart health suggestions in cardiac, share patient success stories in oncology, announce the number of lives saved by organ donors at the facility – what you can do with digital signage in a health care facility is as unlimited as your imagination.

But the digital signage only works if your audience is there to use/see it.

Navigation
Health care facilities may feel daunting to many visitors. Even getting from the parking garage to the lobby can feel Herculean, which is where digital signage can help. Wayfinding provides step-by-step directions to help people get from where they are to where they’re going. These directions can be as specific as you want, such as getting a visitor to a specific doctor’s office, or more general, such as getting a visitor to a specific department (e.g., oncology, for example, rather than to a specific oncologist).

Designed to help make like easier, making wayfinding available can help limit the number of times each day that someone interrupts an employee and asks for directions. Will signage outright eliminate these interruptions? Of course not. But signage can alleviate some of the burden – not just on staff but also on visitors. The last thing you want a visitor to feel is lost and confused, especially when they’re on site for a procedure or to learn the results of what could be a life-changing test.

Clarity
The messaging on a health care facility’s digital signage must be easy to understand. Large display screens are a perfect canvas for “must see” notifications. During an emergency, you quickly can share information throughout the facility and direct your visitors and staff to safety. You also can use digital signage to display health tips and advice, such as ways to exercise when you’re sitting at a desk all day, tips for quitting smoking, and how to quell a child’s fear of visiting a doctor.

Staff-Facing Messaging
Digital signage can help improve employee satisfaction, enhance staff communication, and increase staff engagement, be it at a health care facility or a different type of location. You can use digital signage to recognize staff (such as an employee of the month or staff who reach key work anniversaries), provide onboarding and training information, and even to list department goals.

You can display messaging on screens of all sizes, and easily revise, schedule, and time messaging to display based on a schedule over which you have full control. The messaging you display during the day may be different than the messaging you display at night, if you’re targeting day staff and night staff with specific messaging.

Promotion
Health care facilities are part of a larger community, donors and patrons play a large role in helping health care facilities thrive. Digital signage is an easy way to share information with visitors and guests about a facility’s fundraising efforts. You also can use digital signage to strengthen relationships with donors and attract new ones by highlighting a donor each month, sharing information about how close the facility is to reaching its fundraising goals, or even raising awareness about a significant contribution.

Planning a donor shindig or fundraising event? Use your donor board as a tool to help spread the news. JANUS donor boards are eye-catching, easy to update, and fully customizable, making sure that your event is memorable even before it happens.

At the end of the day, health care professionals want to create a positive experience, or, at the very least, make the experience as easy as possible. Share relevant health information, provide directions, offer emotionally appealing and encouraging stories of healing and survival – what you can do with digital signage is as nimble as a surgeon must be during a 16-hour surgery. Consider digital signage as essential as you do that state-of-the-art instrument or device you just added to your operating room. Deploying digital signage can deliver your message of care throughout your facility and enhance a visitor’s experience.

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