Healthcare communication in strange times: Digital signage can help. A lot.

It’s an unprecedented landscape in healthcare today with pop up and fever clinics appearing overnight to tackle COVID-19, and while the commotion is higher, the principles remain the same.

Patients, staff, and visitors must be kept informed. There must be an efficient workflow. And stress must be managed.

I’d like to talk about how digital signage can assist in these situations.

It’s informative

There are four doctors available on call…now three…and now six.

Patients exhibiting symptoms indicative of COVID-19 must use Entry B.

Visiting hours for family have been updated.

The average wait time is currently 20 minutes.

There is no amount of print signage that can address the extensive messaging clinics need to get through every single day, but digital is more than capable of handling both the volume and the speed of these announcements.

Simple video or images can be played to cover this, as can tickers to have running updates. This doesn’t always require full-scale content creation either—it can be as simple as creating a template once and updating key details in real time. This way, all communications can be managed in-house with minimal effort and by administrative staff.

It’s mobile

The need to communicate with people at entry points can be met with portable digital signage to aid in necessary precautions.

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Most of us have by now been hardwired to contact the clinic to prep for our arrival, when it has to do with coronavirus. Separate entrances have rapidly been adopted at medical centres, as have parking lot tests to avoid the need to exit one’s car.

Important during these times then is the ability to communicate with people at entry points, to aid in any precautions being taken. Portable digital signage comes into play here, with its ability to be set up anywhere on premise to assist with necessary segregation prior to entry.

It’s also for staff

At the risk of making an understatement, this isn’t your average flu season. To manage the influx of infections, retired medical professionals and just-graduated doctors have been called to join the workforce. Unlike those of us tethered to e-mail and video conferences from our lounge rooms, medical staff are always on their feet, which means staff communication needs to meet them halfway.

Unlike those of us tethered to e-mail and video conferences from our lounge rooms, medical staff are always on their feet, which means staff communication needs to meet them halfway.

From changes in workflow to options for mental health support during this turbulent period—essential information for staff can be conveyed via screens in their most frequented areas.

It builds a culture of awareness

In less than two weeks, every person in the world has some idea of what social distancing is about, and YouTube’s hand washing videos are getting more hits than ever.

There is always an audience for awareness, and clinics can run content around hygiene, nutrition, and exercise to encourage healthy practices amongst staff, patients, and visitors.

It sets an ambiance

The news has been dire, sporting events are on hold, and generic TV simply isn’t suitable for all audiences to be allowed to run uninterrupted. Every medical facility needs to craft the feel of its environment with care, and entertainment is a big part of this.

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Playing the right content to uplift and engage people can be a game changer in an experience that is otherwise smeared with stress. Think calming drone footage, anagram challenges, or little trivia facts. This has another benefit, too.

It makes waiting more bearable

Waiting in healthcare facilities can be a necessary evil, but thankfully we do know that occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time. This is an easy-to-leverage principle at medical centres where waiting is inevitable. Simple visual games on their screen can keep viewers mentally occupied, reduce boredom, and lessen tension.

Calming drone footage, anagram challenges, and trivia can keep viewers mentally occupied, reduce boredom, and lessen tension.

It’s right now

Budgets are unpredictable and solutions are required instantly this quarter. Rather than an integrated solution that could take weeks to deploy, instant digital signage is an appropriate, cost-effective first step for clinics of all sizes.

It’s a historic period in healthcare, and it warrants a re-evaluation of communication methods. Digital screens can be transformative in informing, engaging, and propelling a culture of awareness and consideration. 

Five Faces is a full house digital solution provider for healthcare. A unique Five Faces solution, Entertain, is a plug and play digital player with a one-time cost, to enable healthcare facilities to set up and run digital content easily, affordably, and instantly. Visit entertain.fivefaces.com.au to learn more. 

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