Why Patient Experience Matters
The healthcare market is undergoing a period of rapid transformation fueled by both technology and government initiatives where Hospitals are now in a competitive market. Under the Affordable Healthcare Act, 60% of Medicare reimbursements to hospitals are now based on patient satisfaction ratings. Not surprisingly, this has created a sharp focus at most hospitals and healthcare networks on "Patient Experience."
Why Wayfinding Matters to Patient Experience
One of the greatest areas of dissatisfaction for patients and visitors is that of Wayfinding, the process of finding one's way around a hospital, whether it be getting to an appointment on time or visiting a loved one who is ill.
In fact, on average, 30% - 50% of arriving patients and visitors end up lost inside hospitals, which leads to a very poor "customer experience" and can have a direct negative impact on a hospital's patient satisfaction ratings. In addition, poor Wayfinding can lead to missed or late appointments, which can cost a hospital hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
Connexient's founders, Joe Motta and Mark Green, understand these issues intimately, having spent over 17 years designing, implementing and managing Wayfinding systems for Hospitals. Yet despite all the effort and care that go into signage systems, people still get lost.
How Mobile Wayfinding Changes Everything
We live in a world of digital convergence and network ubiquity, where customers want and expect to get personalized, relevant information anytime and anywhere they need it: at home, the office, on the go and on-site. This revolution has brought huge gains in efficiency and many other benefits to virtually every economic and business sector of the modern world.
In the mobile sphere, a second revolution is arriving in the form of Indoor Positioning Technologies and Location-Based Services. These will bring the same kinds of Location-based Services and Features - such as turn-by-turn navigation, location-aware or proximity-based notifications - to large urban interior spaces that have become commonplace in the "outdoor world."
In Healthcare this adds up to one thing: the ability to transform and radically improve the wayfinding experience for patients and visitors. Now we can provide a Google-navigation type of experience - just like the one many used to get to the hospital in the first place - indoors to get them to their appointment.
Do people want this? You bet they do. Just ask the more than 1 Billion users of smartphone-based mapping and navigation applications.
Digital Wayfinding - Beyond Mobile
As transformative as Indoor smartphone-based mobile maps and navigation is, it is critical to remember that Wayfinding starts long before a patient or visitor arrives at the Hospital. A solution that is limited only to smartphones is doomed to create new frustrations.
People have different modes and preferences of consuming information, and many an innate desire to plan ahead. Some may be on their couch on a Sunday afternoon, and want to pull up their iPad to plan their visit the next day. Others may be at the office on a PC and leaving in afew minutes. Many will want to have print-outs of their maps to take with them. More tech-friendly children may want to send maps to their parents to help them preparare. And of course in hospitals, many visitors fall into that category of people that are not comfortable with smartphones and technology generally.
That is why it is critical that any digital wayfinding system address all mediums and touchpoints - Mobile, Web, Kiosks, Digital Signs, and even print-outs. The solution that is best is the one that is relevant and works for the next user. When you give the user options and let them decide, that inherently creates a sense of control and empowerment. With that, you are on the first step towards delivering a great Patient Experience!
Wayfinding is Just the Beginning
While Digital Wayfinding is undoubtedly one of the "killer applications" for the new digital era in Hospitals, it is just the beginning. What our clients are doing in implementing MediNav is laying the foundation for Indoor Location-based Services of all kinds - for operations, security, facility management and more - that will bring increasing returns over time to this initial investment.
But that's the subject for another blog!