Hospitals and medical facilities are faced with the task of delivering the best care and patient experience, while at the same time dealing with issues related to expanding campuses and separate, specialized facilities. The result? The hospital maze continues to grow. Patients, visitors, and even new physicians need more help than ever before to navigate hospitals.
The answer? New “wayfinding” technology now exists to ensure you cannot only assist patients from their homes to the parking lot, but to the correct waiting room with ease. Wayfinding is defined as knowing where you are in a building or an environment, knowing where your desired location is, and knowing how to get there from your present location. Today, this technology can be delivered simply and easily through the convenience of a mobile application. The power now literally rests in the palm of the patient’s hands.
Here are the Top 3 reasons hospitals and medical facilities should be offering wayfinding through their mobile apps or a companion application:
Anxious Visitors and Patients
Hospitals are already filled with anxious visitors and patients facing potential diagnoses and treatment options. Trying to find their way through complex facilities only exacerbates this anxiety. In most cases, these visitors and patients have never been there before. The last thing they need to worry about is how to get where they need to go without getting lost.
Patients and visitors need to get where they need to go…quickly and without having to focus on confusing signage, maps and color-coding. Wayfinding technology offers a reassuring way to help guide patients and visitors to exactly where they need to be. Plus, it is technology that they are already comfortable using as the majority of U.S. adults regularly rely on GPS navigation on their smartphones.
A recent study shows that one of the main reasons patients miss their appointments is because they get lost trying to find their doctor’s office. Often times, the confusion kicks in upon their arrival in the parking lot and worsens as they try to navigate a sprawling medical facility.
Lost appointments mean lost future patients, lost revenue, as well as lost productivity. But even more importantly, lost appointments can potentially result in serious, negative health consequences for patients who may miss out on necessary treatment.
Losing to Competitors
Competition to attract patients has only increased over the years and the recent healthcare reform changes have only magnified this trend. As hospital organizations work harder than ever to build connections within their communities, it is extremely important to consider the entire patient experience from home, to doctor’s office. Ensuring that visitors can navigate a hospital’s campus easily is a huge step toward a positive user experience, which translates to patient loyalty.
Hospital organizations across the country from Rapids City Regional Hospital in South Dakota to the Cleveland Clinic to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are all investing in new wayfinding technology to improve their patients’ and visitors’ experiences. It is not a matter of “IF” wayfinding delivered through a hospital’s mobile application should happen; it is simply a matter of when…