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Taking a different approach to IT in healthcare

Digital signage is helping healthcare organizations to become more productive and cost-effective- but what about the patients? We discuss.

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At ScreenCloud we’re looking ahead to where digital signage (and technology in general) may take us over the next few years. And if there’s one thing we’re sure about, it’s that it needs to be user-centric if it’s going to truly make a difference. 

Seemingly boring “IT” processes often depict what the patient at a hospital or healthcare centre will face on first arrival. It is them, and the crucial hospital staff - the nurses, doctors and receptionists, who find technology either helping or hindering everyday processes. When my Grandfather recently went into hospital for the very first time, aged 83, his complaints (surprisingly few) where all things that better IT processes and simple digital signage could have solved.

Queues in reception areas which could be reduced by onscreen check-ins. Zero entertainment in long waiting areas to alleviate nerves (see how awesome waiting rooms can be with calming digital screen art). A static signage system that seemed to drop out of action in certain corridors and hallways. An unpersonalized experience from start-to-finish, where Doctors forgot names and patients forgot Doctors.

There are plenty of people working within healthcare who truly care about minimizing these negative experiences, in order to provide better mental and physical care. There are also plenty of these types of systems in hospitals but do the patients and the staff know about them? Probably not. 

We’ve already discussed the benefits of using digital signage in healthcare - from wayfinding to entertainment. But here are some of the questions that should be asked, when talking about digital signage in particular, to pivot the approach from technical IT solution, to patient-centric experience.

What does the content look like?

All the screens in the world can’t unfortunately, make the content look great. But simple digital signage systems (like ScreenCloud!) can make all of the difference. At ScreenCloud we’ve built a super simple interface that allows anyone, from anywhere, to upload content such as PDFs, images, videos and presentations onto any screen. The ScreenCloud App Store also offers apps such as Twitter feeds, digital menu boards, news, weather and more to make customized, useful displays easy to create and send live.

What is the education process?

Take an event or tradeshow as an example. With any type of technology on offer you’ll have ‘booth staff’, whose sole job is to show each visitor how to use the technology in hand. Prior to this you’ll have IT departments and marketing teams who show the booth staff how to use the devices, products and systems. In a healthcare setting, where are these crucial instructors? Often, digital signage systems get installed with little thought to how they’ll be managed and organised after the teams leave site. Part of each induction process, for both staff and patients, should be introductory. Here’s how to order your food, here’s how you see what your Doctor looks like, here’s how you check-in through the screen and so on. Simple digital signage content management systems like ScreenCloud’s make this easier. 

Is it adaptable?

The trouble with static signs is that they’re fixed to the wall (and paint) with little ability to change or adapt their content. Digital screens should be the polar opposite - able to be updated, changed or edited at a glance. The screens also need to be adaptable so that the content can suit a specific audience within a specific context.

Can it scale?

In a growing industry, where over 50,000 health IT workers are expected to be needed in the next 5-7 years digital solutions need to be able to scale. Screens are already so deeply ingrained in our personal lives (how far is your phone away from you right now?) that it seems natural that this will extend out into our everyday experiences - including our healthcare.

To find out more about setting your healthcare organization up for better digital signage give our team a shout at - we’d love to talk. 

 SC Gradient

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