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Digital signage can be of enormous value within a hospital. Whether it’s used for wayfinding, treatment information, reassurance messages, important information for staff, messages about changed procedures, or even alerts – they all contribute to a better patient or employee experience. The result is more relaxed patients and visitors, more engaged and better-informed employees, better compliance with procedures, and fewer errors. In this blog, we show how five hospitals are successfully using digital signage.
Our client Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, uses digital signage to communicate with patients and visitors easily. Large screens in the waiting rooms and halls of the building ensure that the thousands of patients and visitors who come through every day are informed quickly and efficiently.
Souad Zgaoui, News Editor at Erasmus MC, explains: “The messages on our television screens display information that is useful for patients and visitors. The information we publish ranges from visiting hours to the day’s weather forecast. The advantage of digital signage for our hospital is that we can quickly share many short messages with patients and visitors. It doesn’t take much time at all. For example, if we share something on the intranet for our staff, that takes more time, more effort, and more employees to get the job done.”
Corporate Screensavers to Enhance Digital Signage
So, how does Erasmus MC inform its staff? In addition to digital signage, the hospital uses Netpresenter screensavers on more than 13,000 PCs to spread messages and information among the staff.
Zgaoui: “After 10 minutes of inactivity, the screensaver appears on all computer screens. We mainly put messages on there that are of interest to a large group of employees, such as agenda items and regulations. Especially in an organization where not everyone has a fixed workplace, the screensavers are a beautiful and welcome way to reach even more employees. Many employees read the screensaver as they walk by, which repeatedly shows the same messages. Due to the constant repetition of the messages, they genuinely remember the information we publish.”
North and South Carolina-based customer Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates (CEENTA) uses digital signage in eighteen locations to communicate with visitors and patients. Before CEENTA started using our digital signage solution, publishing information was a complex, well-orchestrated operation that required multiple departments and many staff.
The implementation of digital signage at the hospital has helped Olena Scarboro, Director of Marketing, and her marketing team in several ways. Scarboro: “We used to hang framed pictures of our health care providers on the wall. Now, we just put all of our providers on the screens. If a provider joins or leaves, we replace that particular slide very quickly. We can also now change our messages much more easily depending on the season and our seasonal services. Our patients and visitors appreciate that.”
The freedom they now have in publishing information is great, according to Scarboro. “I definitely feel like my team is a lot more efficient, and productivity has gone up. We no longer rely on another department to show the right presentation. One person can do it seamlessly from their desk, and the quality of messaging has not suffered. In addition, we can target specific content to specific locations and communicate better messages to our patients and visitors faster.”
CEENTA showcases new services, healthcare providers, and seasonal promotions on the screens, among other things. The screens hang in strategic locations behind the check-in counters, so they are among the first things people see when they come in. Scarboro: “People don’t spend a lot of time at the check-in. That’s why we like to use our digital signage: our presentations are to-the-point, engaging, and attractive. They give people the information they need, even in the short time they spend at the check-in desks.”
The George Washington University Hospital, right next to the White House, uses digital signage to inform and reach visitors and patients at the hospital. Staff is also kept informed via large screens throughout the building.
The screens are hung in strategic, busy locations: elevator bays, the main lobby, and physician lounges. GWUH also deploys screensavers to reach even more people.
“Employee satisfaction with internal communication has improved by no less than 33 percent.”
To ensure that everyone gets relevant information, GWUH targets different audiences (nursing staff, physicians, visitors, and patients) with different messages. Gretchen Tegethoff, CIO, explains, “The large screens in the main lobby are used to welcome visitors and inform them of things like visiting hours and opening hours of the gift shop and cafeteria. In the restricted areas and on screensavers, we publish departmental news and general hospital news.”
Three months after the initial rollout phase, GWUH conducted a staff survey. This showed that employee satisfaction with the internal communication had improved by no less than 33 percent. Tegethoff: “Netpresenter is a great way to reach people because you meet them where they already are – behind their computer or moving around the hospital.”
The University of Tennessee Medical Center uses 54 large screens to inform and alert around 7000 employees in the hospital with digital signage. For alerting medical staff, the screens are especially crucial. Jeromy Welch, Internal Communications Coordinator at UTMC, explains: “In case of an emergency, screensavers and video monitors are automatically taken over, alerting all our team members and giving them instructions on dealing with patients. With Netpresenter’s digital signage, we can notify everyone in our hospital in a timely manner. Even people who are in different buildings or locations; we reach them immediately.”
“Getting these warnings across is of vital importance because a lot of our personnel don’t have the opportunity to read the news or turn on the television. By showing warning messages on every screen in the building, we reach every employee.”
And by ‘every screen’ Welch really means every screen: UTMC also turns its blank computer screens into narrowcasting screens with the aid of an interactive screensaver. Both tools are also used to keep employees effectively informed of internal news.
Sky Lakes Medical Center uses several digital signage screens and all computers in the hospital to reach hospital staff and inform visitors and patients. John Gaede, director of information services at Sky Lakes Medical Center, considers digital signage an essential tool in Sky Lakes’ communication pathway. Gaede says, “Netpresenter is our primary communication channel for clinical staff who may not have access to our other communication channels such as email and overhead announcements. With the digital signage screens and screensavers, we inform them with messaging they need in real-time.”
Denise Hard, Senior Integration Developer at Sky Lakes, is equally enthusiastic. “Netpresenter enables us to send out alerts, and they play a big part in our environment across the enterprise. Whenever there’s downtime of any of our systems, I publish an alert via the screens, because then I am sure everybody gets it. These alerts allow us to have direct critical communication with our colleagues.”
“Netpresenter is an essential tool in our communication pathway.”
In addition to the alerts during system downtimes, Sky Lakes uses Netpresenter on the TV screens in public areas of the hospital to display wayfinding signage and other information for visitors throughout the day.
The TV screens and PCs are also used to disseminate information, increase employees’ cyber awareness, and highlight employees’ accomplishments. A simple and efficient way to inform employees about security risks or give them a boost, Hard thinks.
Digital signage for hospitals benefits everyone: staff, visitors, and patients. Would you like to know more about how your hospital can use digital signage? Get in touch with one of our consultants, they will gladly look into the possibilities with you. Curious about what else we can do for your hospital? Visit this page for extensive information on healthcare communication. Or download our free guide to find the right communication tools to reach your employees.