November 16, 2017

Challenges and Chances in Healthcare - Part 1: Indoor Navigation

8 minute read

Challenges and Chances in Healthcare - Indoor Navigation

Indoor Mapping and Indoor Positioning, commonly referred to as “indoor GPS”, has found its way into various industries, ranging from healthcare institutions and transportation hubs to corporate campuses, shopping malls, and moreThese technologies are already reshaping the way we interact with indoor environments by providing the visualization of spatial data in the context of a map to offer navigational assistance in addition to a broad range of location based services, including asset tracking and indoor analytics.

The market dynamic in healthcare is shifting and is creating a series of challenges hospitals must overcome. What are these obstacles and how can hospital systems address patient's evolving needs and expectations? 

Challenge: Lack of Indoor Navigation

Indoor Navigation - Sparse Hospital Signage

Most hospitals are chronically overcrowded and personnel overburdened with their workload, while patients and visitors struggle to find their way. It is not uncommon for hospital patients and visitors to find themselves having difficulties navigating an increasingly complex healthcare system in search of a room. Signage can be sparse and often uses medical terminology a patient or visitor may not understand, and without additional instructions, may not  provide enough information.

Planned hospital visits are often tied to appointments, which are scheduled back-to-back to meet physicians’ tight schedules where a small delay can have a large impact. Patients, who are already stressed and running late, are even more likely to have trouble finding their way.

So, what are they to do? One’s first contact point will likely be an information desk. However, due to a number of other people queuing up there, which is often the case, they may ask other personnel they encounter in the hallway. From there, they will either be referred back to the information desk or the hospital personnel will stop and give directions, taking valuable time away from their core duties.  

Eventually, the visitor will find their way, but not without delay and frustration. Not to be overlooked is the resulting chain reaction. If a patient is late, a physician’s time is wasted and they may feel the need to rush, which in turn provides more room for errors. Alternatively, if a physician doesn’t rush, their schedule will be disrupted resulting in further delays. The inefficiency of time management and human resources is an issue that impacts patient experience and has severe financial ramifications for healthcare institutions.

Solution: Experiential Wayfinding

Hospital Navigation - Maps powered by JibestreamThis doesn’t have to be the case. Combining an indoor mapping platform with an indoor positioning solution, makes for the perfect counter measure to address these challenges.

Via a mobile app, visitors to the building, e.g. patients, are able to select a specific location from a list and let themselves be navigated towards their point of interest. This eliminates the need to ask for directions and empowers visitors to easily and independently navigate to their destination.

This not only helps patients, but also breaks the vicious cycle; patients navigate independently and are on time, workload and stress levels at information desks are reduced, physicians can start treatments on time and work calmly and thoroughly without interference to their schedules.

“Hospitals are notorious for being complex to navigate. Providing patients and their families with a stress-free way to get around was a top priority for us. Jibestream’s mapping platform allowed us to successfully deliver on this alleviating concerns about navigating our new facility.”

Brian DeCicco, Web Media Developer at Kaleida Health


Read Challenges and Chances in Healthcare - Part 2: Asset Tracking

Topic(s): Healthcare , Mapping

Silvia Pichler

Silvia Pichler is the Senior Marketing Manager at, your professional Indoor Positioning and Navigation solutions provider. As she has a bad sense of orientation, and needs all the help she can get, turned out to be the perfect working space for her. In her free time, you can find Silvia exploring foreign cultures and immersing herself in books or sports.

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