Lake Region Healthcare Signage Decreases Clutter and Perceived Wait Times

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Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) designed their new clinic to include digital signage for enhanced patient engagement. Signs in waiting areas share promotional messages and health tips targeted to the practice’s audience while exam room monitors help reduce anxiety and increase patient involvement in care decisions.

Nominating Company: Spectrio, Oldsmar, Florida
Venue: Lake Region Healthcare Patient Engagement Signage, Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Project: Lake Region Healthcare Patient Engagement Signage
Category: Education & Healthcare

BACKGROUND
Despite being a rural, independent health system, Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) embraced digital signage as a key patient engagement strategy in their new 80,000-square-foot outpatient clinic. Digital signage met the clinic’s goals of:

(1) Providing accessible, patient-centered healthcare
(2) Utilizing efficient and state-of-the-art design that provides flexibility for the future

To create state-of-the art care experiences, providers needed to control touchscreen-enabled content in patient rooms. LRH wanted physicians to engage patients in care decisions, enlarging X-ray images, displaying test results and reviewing exam notes. To preserve sanitary, clutter-free exam rooms, LRH replaced eye charts, pain scales and anatomical posters with digital versions.

Digital signage in waiting areas needed to provide targeted messages based on audiences (e.g. pediatrics vs. cancer center).

Content on more than 100 LRH screens now helps reduce anxiety during wait times in both the lobby and the exam room.

CHALLENGES
Providing content from secure electronic health records combined with the Spectrio-powered content library created some technical challenges. Audio equipment, additional cabling and Internet access were added to the exam room construction requirements.

After physical installation, physician and nurse buy-in presented different challenges. Some staff were “all-in” and used the system to improve efficiency and engagement with patients. Others deferred to pre-programmed messages for the exam rooms rather than creating unique patient experiences with alternate content.

Content management is always challenging. With so many medical specialty sub-groups, interactive monitors and non­interactive monitors, grouping the content in a meaningful and intuitive way would be critical to delivering to the right message to the right audience at the right time.

SOLUTIONS
LRH designed all 90+ exam rooms especially for digital monitor use in addition to the physician’s workstations. This dual-screen design allows medical staff to sit at the computer, facing the patient. The wall-mounted digital monitor serves as an extension of the provider’s screen, encouraging patients to engage in their own healthcare.

Physician champions are persuading their peers by talking about patient benefits and workflow efficiencies. They are using biographical videos of specialists to build credibility and trust during patient referrals – it’s like a personal introduction from the exam room.

LRH also leans heavily on their partners at Spectrio to help with content organization and management. They are a helpful extension of the internal marketing team. As more content is added to digital exam room libraries, it Is critical to organize and create content that is easily accessible, relevant to patients and supportive of the LRH brand.

RESULTS
Physicians and nurses tell LRH leaders that they appreciate the exam room signage and ease of use. Patient comments indicate a reduction in perceived wait time, thanks to the engaging content on exam room screens. Dr. Naomi Schmid, Podiatrist, said, “1 enjoy the ability to show my patients their X-ray this way. With the simple touch of a button, I can show them exactly what is causing their problem. I have recently requested more anatomical pictures of the foot to be added to my content library: The LRH Infection Prevention team prefers the digital eye and pain charts and anatomical diagrams compared to older, printed versions.”

LRH also had increased attendance at events that are advertised on the digital screens. Attendees specifically mentioned exam room digital signage as the source for where they learned about sponsored events. LRH digital signage is decreasing clutter and wait times while increasing provider and patient engagement.

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