Welcome to the PatientWay blog. Over the next week we will be talking about the elements of Wayfinding as we are in the midst of updating our current healthcare wayfinder. We will speak to the phases in which a person asses environmental information for navigating a building or environment; defined as
Wayfinding – The art of using spatial problem solving and environmental cues to navigate a building or environment.
A light preface into the intellect of hospitals around Canada and the United States, all of which have some form of wayfinding.
Hospital essentials: Find my appointment, PatientWay
Making the pathway for patients to navigate your hospital to their appointment, as quickly and conveniently as possible is what successful wayfinding is all about. Think of your own time travelling to find an appointment. We want the most efficient path. How hard can it be for a hospital to provide accessible, easy, and useful mapping? Evidently, pretty hard with all the room and structural modifications that sometimes take years to complete, forcing hospitals to install temporary signage that costs the hospital time and money. What solutions can hospitals find to solve this nagging problem? Interactive wayfinding touchscreens, this evolving technology is becoming more widely capitalized by industry sectors including intuitive, functional systems. Industries need to consider the present and future user. But, before we talk about the devices out there, what does a patient either on their first or tenth visit experience when reaching a hospital entrance?
Here are the three steps in which a person analyzes a new environment:
First, you assess your environment and what you are viewing
Second, digest written and visual cues around you and,
Third, interpret the information you’ve observed and move ahead
Architectural environments provide a variety of clues that assist the visitor in navigating unfamiliar places. Architects and designers have for thousands of years, unknowingly, practiced wayfinding. Today, they are conjoining intuitive environmental flow features. Though it is only recently that these principles are being named, quantified, and presented as a comprehensive methodology by which institutions are able to drastically improve the user experience, the majority of visitors also need the touch of the twenty first century technology. So we bring ourselves back to this present moment, and think how stressful it is to navigate a building environment of this day and age, especially a sick, tired patient. Is static signage enough anymore? Yes it is needed but how easily have we become accustomed to ‘at the touch of our finger directions?’ How easily will a patient or visitor become accustomed to an interactive wayfinder? Surely it will take some getting used to, but again we are all interested in more convenient ways of getting around aren’t we.
This three part series will look at the nine elements of wayfinding around which PatientWay centers its updated wayfinding product.
According to the Self-Service Future Trends 2011 report by Digital Screenmedia Association hospitals are deploying self-service kiosks for the following reasons:
- 60% indicated Patient demand for faster service
- 65% indicated Patient Demand for more convenient service
- 69% indicated Self service devices can increase efficiency
- 50% indicated that Self service devices can help the bottom line
Two thirds of the respondents said they offered self-service programs because they offered customers better or more convenient service, and nearly 70 percent called kiosks more efficient.
Self-service alternatives are here to stay, and PatientWay would like to help you gain proven operational efficiencies for the new year. 2014 can be the year of change for many healthcare providers, call PatientWay today to find out more on how our self-service kiosks can work with your current operational systems.
Frank Mayer and Associates have recently released their white paper “Self-Service in Healthcare” – available here from KioskMarketPlace.com
This paper shows readers the wearisome realities of the current state of the healthcare system. It suffers from “spiraling costs, burdensome paperwork and archaic procedures”. New patients are rarely treated as individuals and their entry into a hospital often involves 30 minutes in the waiting room “filling out a variety of forms related to insurance and medical history”.
Frank Mayer and Associates go on to explain that one of the most helpful performance (and immediate) improvements a hospital can make is a self-service kiosk. Kiosks can hugely help Hospital cost-saving requirements. They include their Best Design Practices for Self Service Hospital Kiosks:
1) ADA compliant – Wheelchair accessibility, as well as privacy and security
2) Simple interface – Many patients are elderly and benefit from a simple and easy to use interface without a lot of graphical distractions
3) Reliable software – You want your patients to have the best experience that is seamless and trouble free
PatientWay is dedicated to ensuring their best practices are featured in every kiosk we implement. If your hospital is looking for compliant designs we would like to urge you to contact PatientWay. We would love to work with you to help you create a seamless self-service information device for your patients.
Here at PatientWay we are pleased to announce the launch for our latest project with St. Joseph’s Ambulatory Care Centre. At the end of October, the Toronto hospital installed a PatientWay self-registration kiosk located within their heart failure clinic. The department experiences a high rate of returning patients and guests – St. Joseph’s have seen that their kiosk will be the most valuable in high volume spaces where hospitals are in need of additional support services. The kiosk will alleviate the stress on the registration process by providing an intuitive, time-efficient, check-in process for patients. Two major benefits are satisfied patients and shorter wait times.
PatientWay is happy to receive the support from our partner healthcare communities. The check-in process is intended to be a positive experience for patients while visiting the hospital and we are happy to hear our partners feel the same way. An article reported by InsideToronto.com and KioskMarketplace.com tells us what managing coordinator, Greg Zeffarano thinks about their new implementation: “We encourage patients to try it and provide feedback … It’s designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. We want to make it as easy as possible for patients.”
Greg goes on to say that “this is a fully self-sufficient kiosk, which allows patients to register their basic information. It provides patients with the forms they need and directions on a map.”
St Joseph’s plan for the future includes installing additional kiosks at their remaining Ambulatory Care Centre clinics later this year. PatientWay is looking forward to working with St Joseph’s to ensure seamless integration and patient adoption throughout the hospital.
If your hospital is looking for a value-based solution we would like to urge you to contact PatientWay. We are very excited about this latest project and would love to work with you to help you create similar savings.
It is always pleasing when industry experts ratify your company’s strategy. According to Sandy Nix, CEO of Connected Technology Solutions (CTS) in a recent interview (reported at Kiosk Marketplace HERE) Healthcare is rapidly become a key focus vertical for the kiosk industry. CTS are one of the largest manufacturers of kiosks in North America and understand the market as well as anybody.
So – how has Healthcare become the focus vertical?
In short, because the Healthcare industry has such huge potential for purchasing kiosks over the next few years. Whilst many industries are deploying kiosks already, Healthcare is late to the game. It is an industry that represents an astonishing 18% of GDP in America (11% in Canada – both numbers from the World Bank here) and yet, there is very little use of automated kiosks today. Furthermore, given the recession, every hospital and health centre we talk to is looking to reduce admin costs and to focus resources on the actual provision of healthcare. Registration kiosks in particular are a great way to do that.
So – Healthcare is a huge industry with low penetration of kiosks, but a large desire and few purchasing options. At PatientWay, we are here to solve this problem – if you are a hospital or a health centre that is considering any type of kiosks we would love to hear from you!