Technology has long been an important asset in the medical industry, reducing time, saving money, and improving patient outcomes. As the healthcare industry looks to the future, organizations are noticing that the benefits of technology reach past the operating room and can improve the overall patient experience.
Waiting rooms and common areas provide medical centers and hospitals with an opportunity to engage, inform and educate visitors using AV technology such as digital displays. As the healthcare industry continues to make technological strides, it is important that patient experience is just as innovative. Digital signage and video walls can be a key contributor to creating a calmer, more inviting space while waiting for care.
Installations such as video walls can turn a stark waiting room into a space that displays vibrant pieces of digital art that change with the seasons, the day, or the minute. A blank wall can be brought to life with a beautiful aquarium, a waterfall or a night sky. These vibrant, engaging, digital canvases can help contribute to a naturally calming environment for patients and visitors.
Video walls and digital displays in healthcare facilities offer other benefits beyond informing and creating engaging interactive spaces. Studies done by Retail Business Development show that when people are presented with digital signage, they reported a decrease in perceived wait time of 33%, which means a 30-minute wait felt like 20 minutes. When patients enter a hospital, they want to know that help is immediately available. Any reduction in wait time can make a hospital visit less stressful.
Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, TX wanted to improve their patient satisfaction and overall patient experience in their Adult Emergency Department (ED). However, the existing walls did not provide much room for digital displays, considering one of the walls was comprised of windows looking out into the hallway.
Patients and their families are often under great stress when they are in a healthcare facility. Whether they are the patient or a loved one, chances are high they are dealing with increased anxiety and might be worried about the outcome of the visit. In waiting rooms and other high-traffic areas with long dwell times, a large digital display can make a big difference in perceived wait times and patient satisfaction.
With this idea in mind, the Covenant Health team began brainstorming how they might positively transform the Emergency Department patient waiting room. “The main goal was simple: to enhance the overall patient experience by providing a comforting and serene space while waiting for care,” stated Walt Cathey, CEO of Covenant Medical Center.