use digital signage to reduce wait times

How Digital Signage Can Reduce Wait Times in Emergency Rooms

If you’ve ever waited in an emergency room, you know how slowly time seems to move. Your duration could be progressing slowly as others are waiting to be seen. Furthermore, it puts you among a whopping 68% of patients who feel emergency room waiting times are too unreasonable.

Undoubtedly, no one likes to sit and watch the clock tick away as they wait to see the doctor. If your emergency room deals with crowded wait rooms, miscommunication on patient’s progress, and a lack of structure to get visitors seen in a timely manner, digital signage is the tool you need to enhance the experience and, overall, save lives. Let’s learn more about how to reduce wait times in emergency rooms using digital signage.

use digital signage to reduce wait times
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Making The Most of Emergency Room Wait Time with Digital Signage Solutions

Time is about perception and expectations, and the healthcare system can manage both through digital signage.

Consider this: what if patients knew that only three doctors were available during their visit? That there were eight other patients in a more critical condition needing the medical attention of those three medical staff? How much better would it be if they knew their estimated wait time was less than thirty minutes?

In short, all this information would help reduce their perceived patient wait time. Fortunately, that’s what digital signage in emergency rooms does. Data shows that it can help reduce perceived emergency department wait times by approximately 35%. To put it another way, uncertain, unexpected, and uncommunicated wait times seem longer and are more frustrating than informed waits.

How to Reduce Wait Time in The Emergency Room

Long queues and waiting times are frustrating. Adding digital signage in the emergency room can improve patient visits and reduce their perceived wait times. Consider providing the following types of digital signage content to enhance its effectiveness:

  • Custom video production: Your digital signage can incorporate content specifically customized for your healthcare facility, for example, telemedicine services.
  • Private label television and videos: This entails customized programming of material recorded previously.
  • Screen wrapping: You can provide content variability by using additional on-screen elements to supplement the main digital screen.

With engaging, interactive, and entertaining digital signage content, you can reduce wait time in the emergency room in the following ways:

Decrease Boredom Among Patients

How patients perceive wait time in the emergency room depends on what they do as they wait. If they’re bored and disengaged, time seems to pass slowly. Therefore, if they sit in an empty waiting room, their wait feels longer. You reduce boredom when you provide entertainment, such as informational videos, television programming, sports highlights, or movie trailers. Consequently, patients feel like time is moving faster.

Reduce Patient Stress and Anxiety

On-screen entertainment takes a patient’s mind off the long wait and reduces the amount of stress and anxiety. So, provide upbeat and enjoyable content in the waiting area. Doing so calms their nerves and increases their comfort levels while they wait.

Enhance Queue Management

Effective queue management increases patient satisfaction and reduces perceived wait times. The digital display screens occupy patients’ attention and provide entertainment as they wait for their turn. With integrated queue management within the digital signage systems, an emergency room can achieve a lot, for example:

  • Use a ticketing system to call customers to the service desk or triage
  • Help patients with wayfinding to customer service counters and clinician’s rooms
  • Indicate the estimated wait time to prepare the patients when it’s almost their turn

Healthcare providers can reduce waiting times by controlling the patient flow and streamlining the queuing experience. Besides, a queue management system increases the number of patients served at a given time. Therefore, it speeds up the service process, giving late arrivals a chance to receive patient care on time.

Provide Educational and Meaningful Content

You can calm patients when you provide entertaining and educational content. For example, they’ll be less anxious and more comfortable when they understand the procedures they’re about to experience. Educational content helps soothe their nerves by giving them a preview of what is to come. Such information also supports their well-being, especially if you share supplemental information about how they can improve their health.

Improve Check-In Time

Digital signage with touchscreen technology empowers patients to complete their registration and check-in. Therefore, patients enjoy privacy more than the standard clipboard-and-pen intake process.

Digital Signage Communication Aids Cooperation

Using digital signage communication lessens patient frustration and lowers their aggression. As an example, digital signage communication has proved to be effective in the following ways:

  • Digital live wait time screens result in a 50% reduction in aggressiveness in patients. Additionally, due to improved digital signage, 75% of patients feel less frustrated with emergency room wait times.
  • Availing information to emergency department patients every 15 minutes improves the perceived length of stay. Moreover, it improves the clinical skills and efficiency of the emergency physician.

With regular wait times and queue updates, digital signage can enhance cooperation between the department and patients.

Match a Facility’s Values and Standards

When you use digital signage in an emergency room, you control what you show and what you don’t show. Custom programming eliminates the risk of displaying content that may annoy, offend, or upset patients. Thus, you don’t have to worry about what may appear on the screens. Additionally, you eliminate the visibility of competitors who may run ads on TV programming.

How to Improve Digital Signage to Reduce Wait Times

To get the most out of digital signage in the emergency room, ensure you harness the power of technology for a better experience. For example, you can leverage the latest technological advances to set up digital wayfinding systems. At the same time, here are more ideas to improve your digital signage:

Improve Mapping Features

Eye-catching, easy-to-read maps can enhance the patient experience while at the hospital. From static maps to animated wayfinding and fully customizable mapping features, you can make it easy for patients to move around.

Provide Multi-Language Support

You can configure your digital and touchscreen directories to provide foreign language support. This crucial feature enhances engagement with patients, regardless of their language and background. As a result, they can easily and quickly get the information they need when they need it.

Encourage Mobile Device Integration

Provide patients with the option to transfer condensed digital signage information to their mobile devices. Once uploaded on their devices, you can display other content to keep them engaged and reduce perceived wait time.

Ideally, you want to make touchscreen systems in public places accessible to as many users as possible. Transferring content to patients’ devices frees up the displays for other users and prevents overcrowding. The approach would work well if patients don’t have to download any app to access the content.

Digital Signage at Work to Reduce Wait Time in Emergency Rooms

people sitting in an emergency room waiting room

Knowing how to reduce wait time in the emergency room is crucial for any healthcare facility. Incorporating digital signage in emergency rooms is an effective intervention. Digital signage content keeps them engaged as they wait to receive medical care. Thus, you can prevent frustration, anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction from rising. Keep the tips above in mind when setting up digital signage systems in your facility.

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