To improve the patient experience, health technology must go beyond mobile apps
A rendering of a healthcare system with TouchSource technology
For decades, American healthcare systems have explored ways to improve the patient experience with a focus not only on improving outcomes, but also on streamlining the care process. This has led to a host of new healthcare technologies coming online in recent years. In fact, the healthcare IT market grew at a rate of 16.7% from 2019 to 2020 and is expected to see year-over-year growth ranging from 20.5% to 31.6% over the next five years.
Many of these new technologies are focused on delivering health care and services to patients remotely through mobile apps. But according to Ajay Kapoor, CEO of TouchSource, if healthcare systems are serious about ensuring their patients have a better, streamlined experience, they need to start closer to home.
“Often, the patients with the least positive health outcomes are the ones who have the most difficulty navigating healthcare — starting with when they enter a facility,” Kapoor said. “Patients are confused in the facility and may even have language barriers or educational barriers that prevent them from accessing the care they need. We believe healthcare providers and facilities have a responsibility to support all of their communities with communication, signage and support in their facilities, not just online. ”
At TouchSource, Kapoor and his team create smart digital signage, touchless interactive solutions, video walls and more for commercial buildings, including healthcare facilities. He said one of his fears is that in the rush to develop “cool” technology, providers forget their responsibilities in the places that really matter to their patients: where they receive care.
TouchSource solves this problem by creating simple and accessible facility navigation systems – from digital signs with multilingual directories to step-by-step virtual maps that lead patients where they need to go. Facilities are also using these digital signs as key communication tools for patients and staff, conveying messages around construction, educational content for healthy behavior, or human resources information for providers.
Along with this, TouchSource technology can be used to make hospitals and ambulatory care facilities a brighter place for patients and can be programmed to display artwork and other soothing images.
“We’re not just looking to make it easier to navigate through healthcare facilities. We enhance the experience with digital design and art that provide patients and providers with a built environment that nurtures their souls and nurtures their care,” Kapoor said.
Eden Hill Medical Center in Dover, Delaware welcomes 2,500 people daily to visit its 17 doctor’s offices, an outpatient surgery center, emergency care, laboratory and on-site pharmacy. In 2020, it also had an aging and hard-to-manage latte repertoire that was so difficult the establishment had to hire an on-site host to direct people where they needed to go. They used TouchSource, which installed a digital wall-mounted directory with 3D wayfinding and a red-lined map that clearly showed visitors how to reach their destinations. It also provides visitors with a QR code that they can scan on their smartphone and follow these instructions.
“Health care is about prioritizing the patient experience. We have a chance to shape that experience from the moment people walk through our doors,” said Trish Johnson, executive administrative assistant for Eden Hill Medical Center. “Sometimes patients can be nervous when they arrive for appointments, so it helps if they are easily guided to where they need to go. By providing mobile orientation, we also help to eliminate a stressful situation.” for them.
She added that the system gave her back the time she used to spend manually updating the old directory. Now she can change it with just a few clicks on her computer.
Florida-based Memorial Healthcare System also installed TouchSource displays at its facility. Matthew Horne, director of property management at Memorial, said the technology has helped the system in its mission to improve the patient experience.
“At Memorial Healthcare System, we strive to provide a positive experience from the time patients arrive on campus and throughout their continuum of care,” said Horne. “Having a mobile phone book meets the contactless preferences of today’s patients, providing an aesthetic and functional solution that adds to their overall patient experience.
Kapoor said that ultimately the patient experience should be a priority for healthcare institutions. Having TouchSource technology is a way for them to show they care.
“Ultimately, our goal is to make the physical environment an uplifting experience for patients,” he said. “They need to feel like the facility is meeting their needs and a positive outcome for their visit.”
This article was produced in collaboration between TouchSource and Studio B. Bisnow’s press team was not involved in the production of this content.
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