• Nikki Ault

The Benefits of Digital Signage in HEALTHCARE

Your hand pulls open the door knob and you enter the next 20 minutes, at least, of your life. You are not sure about the sign-in process but you proceed to the check-in desk and follow the instructions the front desk person gives.

Then you find a seat and pull out your phone to help pass the time. You might grab a coffee, if it's offered, but you settle in as if you are at home. Ready to wait.

This is a typical scene at your doctor or dentist office.

Now as a healthcare professional, you can change this process for your patients and also benefit your practice if you were to implement a digital signage system. A digital signage system consists of a digital display screen and a media player that runs content relative to your patients and your business.

So what are the benefits of having a digital signage system for your healthcare business?

H - Helps perceived wait time. Cnbc.com suggests that an average person waits 10 - 30 minutes past their scheduled appointment and a total of 63 percent of patients said that the most stressful thing about going to their MD was waiting to get looked at.

A digital signage system can reduce perceived wait time by occupying your patient's time with content that fills the void. Content that is entertaining, educational, and engaging helps ease nerves and makes the time feel as if it is passing quickly.

If your patients often pull out their mobile devices to keep busy, you can even use beacon technology to have content delivered directly to their mobile device. Learn more about beacons and digital signage as a part of your omni channel marketing strategy here.

E - Entertain and Educate through Engagement. Digital signage can entertain, educate, and engage an audience through the use of content. You get to decide what content you want displayed which can be customized based upon the interests, demographics, and location of your display.

Content can include: product or service offerings, specials that are specific to your clinic, meet the staff and doctors within the practice, FAQ's, latest health information specific to your industry or specialty, news, weather, sports updates, video clips, social media engagement, etc.

A - Advertising. You may gain a quick Return on Investment for your digital signage system if you take advantage of advertising. You can advertise new products your office is offering as well as services. An example: you are a dental clinic and you are offering teeth whitening for a special price because it's wedding season, this can be updated and displayed on your digital sign for as long as you need and can be changed when required.

You can also sell advertising space to vendors and pharmaceutical companies. This is a great way to increase sales for your practice in the waiting room.

L - Location. When we are talking about the location of your digital signage displays, there are a few things to consider. Multiple displays can be used within the same building, you can use multiple displays across different locations, and the physical place to hang or place your screen.

Multiple Displays: This option just means, for example, that you want a screen in the lobby, the 3 exam rooms, and in your break room. Each display can run the same content or has the option to show different content based upon what your needs and audience are.

Multiple Displays Across Multiple Locations: If your practice has multiple locations across the city or state, you can use digital signage to keep branding, communication, and updates consistent. You can display the same content across all locations or make them specific based upon the needs of each specific location.

Physical Location of Display: You want to ensure your display is in a visually appealing area, easy to focus on. Pay attention to height and any possible obstructions for viewing. Your display should be an enhancement to your waiting area not an eyesore.

T - Training. Most practices are quite busy and can get caught up in the day to day operations leaving no time for ongoing training or further education. Digital signage can be used as a means of bridging this gap. Playing videos on a break room digital signage display that includes the most up to date training materials, providing HR updates, improving product knowledge, and even review company history.

H - Headlines/RSS Feeds. Most content management systems allow for zoning or that scrolling bar that incorporates news, weather, and sports headlines, or RSS Feeds that provide these same things. RSS Feeds provide fresh up to date content in real time on your digital display.

C - Communication (check-in, patient updates, wayfinding, etc.). This is probably the most important benefit of digital signage in a healthcare facility. According to advisory.com, a research found that 96 percent of negative comments left for medical practices focused on issues such as inadequate communication, wait times, and disorganized operations rather than issues associated with actual medical treatment.

You have a dynamic system that peaks the interest of your audience, and this is your chance to communicate what you wish to your audience.

Check-In: When your patients enter the room, imagine a digital check-in system. It walks them through the questions that need answered right away and provides your front desk with the information they need to get a patient prepared.

Patient Updates: In larger facilities such as surgery centers, hospitals, or outpatient services, digital signage can assist with negating the number one question asked in these facilities, "Can you give me a status on my loved one?" With the correct system in place, anyone in the waiting room can be given an accurate status of their loved one and in confidentiality.

Wayfinding: Another word for wayfinding is directions or map.

Let's be honest, healthcare facilities are often some of the hardest buildings to navigate through.

Digital signage can solve this issue with wayfinding solutions such as kiosks, connections to your mobile device to guide you where you need to go, as well as giving the information such as conference rooms or meeting rooms that you are assigned to.

A - Alerts/Emergency. This is also a part of the communication tab as well, but it is a really important one. Anytime there is a safety concern or emergency situation, getting the word out across a large healthcare facility, campus, or among multiple locations can be difficult.

Digital signage can provide real time updates, immediate steps that need to be taken, and any additional pertinent information to the situation.

R - Reduce Operating Costs/Return on Investment. Digital Signage eliminates your printing costs (banners, posters, brochures, billboards, etc.), as well as the shipping or delivery costs of those printed materials. And let's be honest, how often do you actually look at printed materials? Increasing sales also allows you to add to your return on investment.

E - Easy Solution: Coffman Media. Coffman Media is a leading digital signage solutions provider. Their primary goal is to help you realize the power of digital signage to meaningfully connect with customers and clients while simultaneously promoting the goals of your business or organization. In a nutshell, their focus is YOUR message.

As discussed above, the benefits of digital signage in the healthcare industry are pretty clear. But what happens if you just don't have time to manage your content? Coffman Media can help you with that.

If digital signage sounds like a possible solution for your healthcare facility or office, but you need some assistance with that content management piece, check out more about Coffman Media and receive a free consultation.

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