Friday, February 12, 2016

5 things to look for in digital wayfinding to increase efficiency and improve patient satisfaction at hospitals

The reality is that hospitals and campuses are getting larger and their footprints are becoming more and more complex.

When going to a hospital, the last thing you need to worry about when rushing to your examination is finding your way around the outpatient clinics, nursing stations, hall ways, or information areas. Try adding another layer. The layer of stress and fear that a person entering a hospital might have.

In a report released by Deloitte Digital, 30% of the first-time visitors to a hospital report getting lost. 30%! That’s 3 out of 10!

People don’t go to a hospital for fun; people go to the hospital because they are sick or visiting ill family or friends. So being able to easily find your way is crucial. The thing is though that 30% of the first-time visitors to a hospital report getting lost and 25% of hospital staff cannot locate critical destinations within a hospital.

Entering a hospital, many patients already feel nervous and scared, and the anxiety of getting lost or missing an appointment can be frustrating. Digital wayfinding can help make them feel at ease about navigating your hospital.

Here’s 5 things to look for in digital wayfinding to increase efficiency and improve patient satisfaction


Go for a modular and scalable platform with one map across all screens!


Always ensure that your solution is modular, scalable and cross-platform! You don’t want to end up with a solution where you have to support and manage your digital wayfinding solution from different backends. You need an indoor wayfinding solution that works seamlessly across smartphones, apps, touch screens, kiosks, and all browsers, and updates instantly across all screens. With a cross-platform solution you can easily manage your dynamic maps across all screens from one backend, you ensure consistency for your patients and therefore a better experience, and you can scale as needed.


Need more kiosks or smartphone integration? Or even the same map displayed on your website? Imagine going to a hospital or your first day at campus. Now you can learn to find your way before even going there. 

Mobile integration is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity


Therefore: Go for a solution designed to support all smartphones off the shelf! Digital wayfinding solutions designed for smartphones allow maps and directions to be opened on a smartphone via the web, an app, or in a text message with the exact same features as on a kiosk or touch screen.


So once a visitor leaves a kiosk, they have turn-by-turn instructions right in the palm of their hand. And if they have to make multiple stops, they can rely on their smartphone to guide the way.

The result: happier and safer patients and vistitors, better on-time efficiencies, and more hospital productivity! Digital and mobile wayfinding also alleviates some of the ADA issues around making hospitals wheel chair accessible. In fact, many patients and visitors feel more comfortable using their own device.

Accessibility mode support


For visitors with vision impairments or for patients with walking difficulties, the ability to enlarge a map or text or having your route change accordingly in an “accessibility mode” allow accessibility that goes beyond basic compliance with the American’s With Disabilities Act updates in 2012.

Go for a solution that supports accessibility mode out of the box with mobile integration as well. The best designed solutions have all interactions and buttons placed so that they are easy to reach from a wheel chair, and so you can easily switch mode accordingly.

FROM anywhere TO anywhere... ... Or anything!


From the main entrance to medical destinations, staircases and elevators, amenities, gift shops and restrooms, parking and transportation, doctors, nursing stations, outpatient clinics, classrooms, conference rooms, shops, ATMs, points of interest, auditoriums, lecture rooms, activities... and back again!

Your digital wayfinding solution must support it all and make it easy and intutive for your patients to browse it all in a way that is fast and with the fewest possible interactions. At the same time your digital wayfinding solution must support the ability to change both your end destination AND your starting point.

Focus on wayfinding! People need to find their way. Now!


People don’t go to a hospital for fun; people go to the hospital because they are sick or visiting ill family or friends. People don’t go to a wayfinding kiosk just to browse for shops or restaurants. Or to find the weather forecast. Or to find todays's news. People need guidance and directions fast and instant.

That’s why it’s important to look for maps that support fast navigation and instant routes. Go for a solution that’s intuitive and invites users to instant interaction. Digital wayfinding has to give the right information at the right time and place – but utilizing as little information as possible.