To summarize what we discussed last week, wayfinding is the art of using visual information to navigate and experience a new environment with reference to pathways, signage, landmarks and other visual cues.
Given clear, consistent cues, a patient-user should be able to navigate a hospital effortlessly. These cues should be Accessible, Simple and Purposeful, which are the three elements of wayfinding.
Element of Wayfinding #1: Accessible – We are all unique in our approach to problem solving; this should be reflected in an interactive wayfinding system. Multiple access point functions decrease frustration and increase adoption rates. Our top three user-satisfaction accessibility requirements:
- Universally interpreted symbols to break barriers of language and capability. A young child can understand a bathroom symbol as young as four years old.
- Intuitive design so that all users understand how to navigate every screen and back again to the main landing page.
- Compliance in consideration of patient-users whom have disabilities either visually or physically -large print and ADA compliance are essential.
Over the next month we will be talking about the elements of Wayfinding. First lets define wayfinding:
Wayfinding – The art of using spatial problem solving and environmental cues to navigate a building or environment.
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. You want the most efficient path.
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
Wayfinding in a typical modern hospital can be challenging as room and structural modifications over a period of years has forced hospitals to install temporary signage that costs time and money.
What solution can hospitals find to solve this costly problem?
Interactive wayfinding touchscreens, an evolving technology, are becoming widely utilized by hospitals and clinics.
In the next few blogs we will discuss how to improve the efficiency of your staff and increase user satisfaction by exploring the elements of wayfinding.
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.
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!
Here at PatientWay, we are pleased to announce the start of development of the PatientWay Appointment Manager (PAM). We have recently signed a contract with our key partner hospital for this development. A formal announcement will come out in September to fit with their communication plans. In the meantime, we have agreed a development timescale and we expect to have PAM available for other general sale by Summer 2014. The PatientWay team has started development already is working away to make this vision happen.
PAM will enable hospitals to automate and hugely improve their scheduling function, resulting in vast cost savings and a better Patient Experience. PAM is going to become a critical component of hospital’s ongoing requirements to save costs and improve their budgets over the next 10 years. There are very few projects and products available to hospitals that can do this alongside actually improving the Patient Experience. PatientWay is very excited about starting the development of PAM.
For more details on PAM, or to become a Beta customer, please contact PatientWay HERE. Beta Customers will receive PAM before anybody else, at heavily reduced rates, and will be able to help PatientWay design the product that is right for them.