January 1, 2019

Hospital Wayfinding: The Key to Changing the Healthcare System

7 minute read

Hospital-Wayfinding

Healthcare delivery systems are an integral element of any society and is usually considered a good indicator of how developed that society is. There have been numerous exciting breakthroughs in the healthcare sector over the years, which has resulted in both the extension of peoples' lives and an improved worldwide standard of living.

Most of these big healthcare breakthroughs have appeared in the form of new medicines or vaccine discoveries. However, there has now been a breakthrough in the running of healthcare operations that has the potential to save lives through sheer efficiency: Experiential Wayfinding.

What is Experiential Wayfinding?

Experiential Wayfinding is achieved by using a technology platform at the forefront of the 'Internet of Things' revolution. At face value, the technology may come across as a simple pathfinder used to navigate between two points, but it is actually far more sophisticated than that.

Designed on an open architecture, it draws from a wide range of technologies, such as indoor positioning sensors, Bluetooth BLE beacons, mobile applications, and interactive kiosks. Integrating these location-aware technologies results in an exceptionally powerful tool, offering predictive technology that has the unique ability to pinpoint exactly what information is relevant to each user at any given time. It is a technology that becomes more powerful with extended use, having the ability to collect data from past experiences and apply it through to future situations of a similar variety.

When applied as a hospital wayfinding solution, it has the ability to offer patients and healthcare practitioners a unique and personalized experience.

Hospital Wayfinding for Patients

Deployed as a hospital wayfinding solution, experiential wayfinding has the potential to completely revolutionize the patient experience. Patients now have the power to immediately identify how long their wait for treatment will take, be able to assess which hospitals are busier than others, and, in the case of serious emergencies, which hospital is closer with the least amount of traffic en route.

Furthermore, upon arrival at the facility, patients would have the convenience of being able to park directly in a pre-booked spot, a very convenient feature for the disabled or seriously injured. In the hospital itself, directions to a certain room or department in the hospital are also available. So, if a patient is in urgent need of an x-Ray, they will have the ability to proceed straight through to the designated area. These advances in hospital wayfinding aim to ensure efficiency from start to finish, whether it be from the initial drive to the hospital or navigating the hospital itself, not a second is wasted.

While this kind of time saving efficiency can make all the difference in a life or death situation, it also has the potential to be immensely useful in day-to-day life. For example, contextual messaging technology could alert patients if they haven't been for a scheduled medical check up in a recommended time frame while also reminding them to collect their prescription at the pharmacy.

Experiential Wayfinding for Healthcare Professionals

Hospital wayfinding technology won't simply benefit the patient, as doctors and the Health Care facilities they work for have the potential to flourish in the environment of increased efficiency that location-aware technology affords.

Healthcare professionals will be able to instantly identify which treatment rooms are occupied, locate available facilities and direct patients or colleagues to these locations using mobile applications. The general day-to-day running of hospitals is also set to change as wayfinding technology is integrated with other systems. Tracking the movement of patients through the hospital using BLE (Bluetooth Low) beacons and/or WiFi technologies and automatically pushing patient data to doctors as patients enter consultation rooms, will provide doctors with an on the spot starting point for each consultation.

Combining data collected through an integrated hospital wayfinding platform will allow each respective healthcare facility to analyze which patients are collecting their drugs or not, and provide the ability to tell if a patient has arrived on time in the hospital for an appointment. Therefore hospitals are set to become far more efficient through the use of this technology.

The Verdict

Experiential wayfinding is set to streamline the entire healthcare delivery system, from the patients right through to the doctors. An integrated wayfinding platform has the potential to save both patients and healthcare practitioners time, improve patient experiences and ultimately save the healthcare sector an untold sum of money in the long-term.

 

 


Updated January 1, 2019: This post was originally published on January 23rd, 2015 and has been updated to provide more information.

Topic(s): Mapping
Author

Trish Sissons

Trish is the Digital Marketing Manager at Inpixon. When she’s not digging into all things digital, you’ll find her playing in the great outdoors, running her book club, crafting, or boarding a plane heading somewhere sunny.

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