Having a sign that carries the right message isn't just important for your healthcare facility; for hospitals and emergency rooms, it can be the difference between life and death. When patients are able to quickly identify where they need to be, they are able to access help more easily. Having the right info available at eye-level can also benefit staff, ensuring that they have vital information nearby. This can be as simple as having a hospital sign near the road, or as complex as having interactive digital signage indoors. Learn how your healthcare facility can boost the patient experience and reduce errors in this helpful overview.
Reduced Healthcare Costs
Although this may seem strange, it's the truth–having the right signage throughout hospital hallways and patient rooms can prevent costly errors. Having reminder signs at sight-level can help to ensure that staff, visitors, and patients all understand best practices. Signs can help to:
- Remind people of infection risks
- Deter visitors from entering high-risk areas
- Remind staff of allergies and potentially dangerous conditions like fall risks
- Indicate that a patient is deaf, blind, or impaired in some manner
- Remind all parties to engage in regular hand-washing
A good sign company can help you to choose the right size and placement for these reminders, ensuring that your risk of errors and incidental infection is reduced.
Channeling Patients During Emergencies
While bedside and hallway signage can help to reduce incidental errors in your healthcare facility, emergencies present a much more urgent need. The small signs used for patient indicators and bedside info simply won't work in this regard.
Most hospitals have very large "EMERGENCY" letters placed directly above the entrance to the emergency department itself. The addition of large, red plus signs isn't uncommon, although these can sometimes be green or even blue. Occasionally, the international symbol for healthcare is also used. While there is some variety, the same basics should hold true for almost all emergency-related signs within your facility.
Having well-placed, lit-up, easily-identified emergency wayfinding signs can ensure that patients and caregivers are able to get to help quickly when tensions are high.
While this isn't as large an issue for ambulance drivers, doctors, and other staff members, consider the parent who is attending the hospital for the first time with a child experiencing an asthma attack:
- If the hospital is large, several departmental entrances may be confusing
- Being able to make visual contact with the sign and/or wayfinding signs leading to the E.R. while driving by may reduce transit times
- Emergency room staff are almost always immediately available, while staff may need to be called in if parents land at the wrong department
Those few crucial seconds can quite literally be the difference between life and death. The same is true when a patient is experiencing a heart attack or stroke; studies have shown that even mere minutes can change the outcome and likelihood of recovery. If your patients can find their way immediately upon arriving, your facility will be better equipped to help.
Disseminating Information Quickly
One of the best ways that healthcare facilities are ensuring that important information is disseminated quickly is through digital signs. This revolution in technology ensures that info can be adjusted rapidly with just a few clicks.
Depending on the company who installs your digital sign system, you may be able to do this yourself or you may be given a toll-free number to call for adjustments. Either way, enabling fast changes and working with video slideshows can be very helpful.
- Make use of video slideshows
- May contain many slides or just one slide
- Can offer info about common illness protection
- May give facts or information about the hospital
- Can be programmed with trivia that helps to prevent patient boredom on long waits
- May help to indicate potential wait times and/or other locally partnered clinic info for non-emergencies, helping to relieve congestion during high-capacity points
- Can be programmed with everyday info like weather, news, and other tidbits
Sprinkled with calls to action, they can even prompt patients to engage in better everyday self-care. Marketing Profs has an excellent overview of the ins and outs of digital signage, available here.
As a healthcare facilitator, you know that your patients and staff are your first priority. By better understanding signage and making use of it in the right ways, you can help to improve success rates, curb costly errors, and improve both the work and patient experience. Contact a local sign company like Best Neon Sign Company today to learn more about how the right signs can help you.