Did you know approximately one-third of new hospital visitors get lost as they attempt to find their way through the facility? Large-scale medical centers are notoriously challenging to navigate for any patient. But for older adults — especially those who are frail, live with chronic pain, or have difficulty moving — hospital navigation presents a serious problem.

 

The senior population is growing faster than any other age group in the U.S., and older adults are more likely to visit healthcare facilities than their younger counterparts. While static signage and directional placards might be well-intentioned wayfinding tools, they’re woefully outdated and far from efficient.

 

Fortunately, technology has an answer to the aging population’s navigational difficulties: interactive digital wayfinding. Read on to learn how wayfinding kiosks and interactive digital signage can help any large-scale medical center better serve the needs of an aging patient population.         

 

Digital Wayfinding Kiosks Provide a User-Friendly Wayfinding Experience

Older patients might be slower to adopt technology, but when it’s user friendly, most seniors are just as eager to benefit from it as younger generations. That’s where interactive digital wayfinding kiosks shine.

 

Unlike static signage, which can be difficult to locate and for many older patients, hard to read, interactive digital wayfinding kiosks are designed to be as user friendly as possible. Their placement near facility entrances makes them easy to locate and access, and their easy-to-use interface makes searching for destinations and getting directions as simple as typing a few words.

 

Blue-Dot Navigation Offers a Turn-by-Turn Wayfinding Solution

Older adults are more digitally connected today than ever. While it’s true that the senior population has lower rates of technology adoption than any other age group, it’s also true that many seniors rely on interactive digital maps in their daily lives.

 

One survey, conducted by AARP in 2017, found that over 45% of older adults who own smartphones use them at least weekly for digital maps and navigation. In healthcare facilities, blue dot navigation functions much the same way it does in an outdoor mapping scenario.

 

Patients search for their destination on a digital wayfinding kiosk, opt to have turn-by-turn directions sent to their smartphone, and then follow along on their personal device. Blue dot shows their position within the facility, along with the most efficient path to reach the intended destination. User-friendly mapping at its finest.

 

Touchless Interactive Wayfinding Interfaces Offer At-Risk Patients a Contactless Navigation Solution

Due to concerns about Covid-19, older, at-risk adults are wary about visiting healthcare facilities — even when they desperately need care. According to a CDC report issued in September 2020, approximately 41% of U.S. adults had avoided or delayed getting routine and emergency medical care due to concerns about the virus.

 

Concerning? Absolutely — both for patients and for healthcare facilities that have seen sharp declines in revenue. Fortunately, hospitals can use touchless interfaces to help improve patient confidence and encourage a return to care.

 

By its nature, interactive wayfinding minimizes face-to-face contact for at-risk patients. But many of those patients are still wary about touching an interface that others have touched. With a touchless interface, facilities have several contactless options for getting patients the information they need, including:

 

●        Voice control, which is similar in functionality to smartphone voice commands

●        Gesture-mirroring technology

●        Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions

●        QR code scanning, which delivers the wayfinding platform to a personal smart device

 

Ready to Learn More About Hospital Wayfinding? Contact Express Image Digital

If you’re ready to improve the way patients experience your hospital, get in touch with our team at Express Image Digital to learn more about your interactive wayfinding options. As an end-to-end digital solutions provider, we develop completely custom, all-in-one wayfinding solutions designed to enhance the user experience in large-scale healthcare facilities.

 

To learn more or get started, feel free to request a demo or give us a call at 651-237-5677. You can also send us a message for more information.