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How to Make Healthcare Waiting Areas Safer

During the pandemic, healthcare facilities have had to adapt quickly to ensure each and every room is clean and equipped to enable social distancing. One of the rooms of the highest concern in the lobby, where patients wait in close proximity. Developing strategies to keep people distanced safely and answer as many questions as possible with as little human contact as possible has been a priority of clinics across the world, and one form of technology that has helped achieve these goals has been digital signage software.

What Is This Software?

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Digital signage can be created by your team or the software provider. Most companies will walk you through how to create your own content, so you can customize the look of every message. The signage is cloud-based so it can be created and saved in a central location at your facility. To display the content, you need wireless internet and a digital signage player attached to the HDMI port on the screens across your facility. All modern televisions have this capability. When you remotely create the designs you wish to display, you can schedule when certain messages are displayed or you can publish urgent updates immediately.

If you’re searching for ways to make your clinic’s lobby safer, consider the many benefits of digital communication. Let’s take a look at how you can keep your lobby safe, especially with the use of waiting room digital signage.

Provide Clear Direction

With protocol and healthcare guidelines changing what seems to be every day, it’s critical to inform your patients and staff on what to expect. With digital signage, you are in complete control of the messages displayed throughout your clinic and can make adjustments on the fly whenever necessary.

By outlining your practice’s current expectations and guidelines, you can help patients understand what to do immediately upon entering your facility. Whether you’re having patients wait in their cars, avoid certain areas of the lobby or another safety measure, you can communicate your expectations right away.

This will put less pressure on your staff. Because the software is controlled in one central area, nobody on staff will have to use their time making sure every sign in the facility is communicating the ever-changing safety protocols.

Digital signage can also be used as a directory. Listing each wing, room, or lobby within your facility on a digital screen will improve patient communication without them having to ask where to go.

Minimize Human Interaction

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This also will help eliminate the need for patients to seek assistance from your staff, cutting back on human-to-human contact. With a virus as contagious as COVID-19, it’s important to minimize face-to-face interaction as much as you can to keep patients and staff healthy. The more efficiently you can communicate with everyone in your lobby, the safer your facility will be. Digital signage is a sure way to keep things moving as smoothly as possible.

You can include estimated wait times, doctor’s schedules, and lobby hours on your signage to help deter human to human interactions. This can also prevent healthcare facilities from staffing several admin positions at a time which promotes social distancing.

Diffuse Tension

Hospital lobbies are already tense with the collection of injured or sick people waiting their turn to see a doctor. The current pandemic isn’t helping relieve any of the angst. For lobbies that are allowing people to wait indoors, it’s fairly bare when it comes to keeping patients entertained. New safety protocols have abolished the lobby magazines that used to clutter the coffee tables.

Digital signage providers have the ability to integrate apps into your lobby signage. These apps include social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The feeds will refresh in real-time so patients can stay on top of trending hashtags and local news. Another popular app is live televisions. This integration connects your signage to live TV so you can play current programming in your lobby and on multiple televisions.

There are hundreds of app integrations that can be used on digital signage, so you don’t have to worry about updating the content to distract visitors from their wait time.

Give Instantaneous Updates

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Communicate with your patients instantaneously and without the need for extra human contact through display signage and easy-to-control software. Digital signage software is completely cloud-based, which means you can update your messages anytime, anywhere. This includes emergency updates, news, weather, and many more features designed to keep your patients and staff informed at all times. If you have a COVID-19 precaution that needs to be addressed, you can do it immediately so everyone stays up to date.

There are a handful of app integrations that will also provide live updates to patients. You can display live alerts from the national weather service or display your own customized emergency alerts of the current situations in your facility. Safety videos are easy to upload to the cloud-based software so you can publish a video in seconds.

Beyond the Lobby

Digital signage is also beneficial for your staff and can enhance employee communication while keeping everybody as safe distance apart. Instead of a morning staff meeting or midday team huddles, you can communicate important internal announcements to your staff via display signage. Whether it’s inventory management, new safety protocols or updating schedules, all of this communication can be accomplished digitally, instead of face to face.

Find a Safe Solution With Digital Signage

Healthcare facilities will need to stay nimble to adapt to the many challenges of navigating a pandemic while continuing to serve their patients and keep their own staff healthy and happy.

Embracing technology that enables clinics to communicate instantaneously with every person in a building will ultimately help keep people as safe as possible. And this goes beyond hospitals. Healthcare clinics, pharmacies, chiropractors, dentists, and physical therapists are all essential and need to create safe environments for their clients and staff.

That’s why so many healthcare facilities have embraced and leveraged digital signage as a way to keep patients informed and safe during the entirety of their visit. If you’re looking for ways to make your healthcare lobby safer, try REACH Media Network offers easy-to-use digital signage software.

About Suzan Vega