Digital signage helps the public give back to their NHS

Digital signage is a great way for visitors, patients and hospital volunteers to find out how to do more for their local hospital. A great message that we’ve made for pretty much every Trust we work with is this one:

The above example is for St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust, but everyone wants a piece of this action. If people spend a lot of time in hospital, whether for work, to visit a friend or relative, or because they themselves are a patient, they begin to care about the hospital. Often, they want to become involved. It’s important that people know of the options available to them, especially surrounding becoming  a member of their local NHS Trust. This can be advantageous for everyone, as it gives patients, visitors and staff a voice when it comes to consulting on hospital matters and being up to date with everything important that happens around the Trust. Having a good relationship with the surrounding community is key to improving the healthcare services the Trust provides.

Trust members also have the opportunity to vote in the Trust’s Governors’ Elections, or even to stand as a Governor themselves. This message we've previously made for Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is a great example:

When Kingston Hospital are looking for people to stand for election it’s important that as many people see this message as possible and know that the opportunity is available. On top of hosting awareness sessions in October, they have information about this all over their website and the many patient information screens we’ve installed throughout the hospital also play an important communications role for both the staff and the patients. Many facets of hospital communications can be improved with the use of digital signage in wards, waiting areas, entrances, clinics and corridors. Giving patients and visitors information that is important to your Trust is important to them, and with creative digital signage you can do it in a modern, easy to manage way that’s easy on the eye and reinforces your Trust’s branding guidelines and voice to a far greater effect than white boards and notice boards.

Find out more about how digital signage can benefit your hospital communication strategy today, it’s really easy. Just contact us here, or have a look through one of our galleries and see some digital signage in action – it’s pretty impressive!

Holograms and hygiene

The time is finally here. We’ve reached the future, that distant, shiny, modern, sparkly thing that we’ve all been waiting for. Sure, we don’t have flying cars, hovering skateboards or nifty teleportation devices. But we have holograms in our hospitals, and they’re drastically improving hand hygiene compliance rates.

Meet Holly the Hologram:

 

She’s basically a rear projection unit designed to look like a real nurse. Her main duties include advising hospital staff, patients and visitors about the importance of hand hygiene, but she can easily be convinced to deliver all kinds of messages. Messages about things like way-finding, PALS and restaurant information are always popular.

Holly’s not alone. There are many different virtual nurses popping up in NHS hospitals all over the country. Some of them are projections of actual nurses working in the very same hospital, others are portrayed by actors or animations. All of them are helping to keep their hospital infection free.

A recent study at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust found that 33% of visitors used the virtual nurse hand sanitiser unit, as opposed to the 2.1% of visitors who were using the existing dispenser. All hospitals have a zero tolerance approach to infection and a virtual nurse drives home the hand hygiene message in a memorable fashion. With two working hand gel dispenser units built into the design, patients, visitors and staff can take immediate action. Infection control and hygiene messaging needed bolstering in the hospital before the nurse’s introduction, heightening the danger of an infection being spread by a well-meaning visitor.

Another notable result from the study was the interaction that visitors had with the Virtual Nurse unit. During a two hour period, 173 visitors listened to the nurse’s messages. People were enchanted with the hologram, and couldn’t help moving closer to her. Some were fooled into thinking that it was a real person, until they went up to her. Many people reported back that it was the first thing they noticed upon entering the hospital. If a hygiene message is the first thing to get your attention, that can only be a good thing for patient safety.

The more we work to inform and educate the general populace on these key healthcare issues, the safer and healthier we all become. Our virtual nurses are the perfect example of a novel, memorable and clever way to impart a hugely important message to improve patient care.

Donation information via digital signage

Organ donation. It’s something we’ve all heard about, but we don’t necessarily do anything about it, until it’s too late. Or we sign all the papers, but don’t discuss the outcomes with our family members which can turn out to be just as bad. It’s just that dying isn’t something we want to think about, even though its a fact of life.

Now, we’re not suggesting that you ought to be reminding patients and visitors about imminent death constantly via the fine medium of digital signage. Far from it. But it’s a great way to spark some sensible discussion about the incredibly important issues surrounding organ donation. It can start with a message as simplistic as this one from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

It’s a very plain message. Make sure your family knows that you’ve joined the Organ Donor Register. Why? Because when your family know what your wishes are after your death they’re more likely to go along with them. It just makes it easier on everyone, and helps to ensure your organs will actually be donated.

Moorfields Eye Hospital has its own message on this important subject, relating specifically to eye donation:

Another simple message, this one encourages people to register, either via the internet or the telephone. No clutter, just the vital information and a call to action.

Finally, organs and tissue aren’t the only things to think about with regards to donation. Most people can donate blood, and this is a brilliant thing to encourage via your screens. We have various messages created for many different Trusts detailing where and when people can donate blood, including upcoming events within the Trust or locally. We also have this general message created for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust:

It includes a phone number and website for those who require more information and serves as a frequent reminder to visitors to get out and donate blood. We’d all like to think that there would be blood or tissue available to us should we ever need it, but that’s only the case if we’re all willing to donate. Digital signage in hospitals is a great way of keeping this important topic in the forefront of patients’ minds and encouraging more people to either donate blood or to add their name to the register!

Winter healthcare messages

With the weather getting colder again we decided to take a closer look at our winter messaging. We already had quite a bundle on file, but we decided to work with our partner Trusts to create this updated selection of winter messages. These messages can easily be recreated into any NHS Trust branding and the information can be personalised to fit the needs of another Trust or a specific campaign. Let’s take a look at the new messages:

 

During the cold winter months when everybody spends a lot of time inside together, it’s important to remind your patients and visitors to wash their hands regularly.

 

Another common winter illness is Norovirus. Patients always find it useful to be warned of the effects of the virus, and what to do if they catch it.

 

We talked about the importance of exercise in our  summer messages , but it’s also a good idea to inspire your patients and visitors to keep moving during the colder months.

 

A sore throat is another common winter ailment – this soothing advice from the NHS is bound to be well received.

 

A few choice tips about healthy eating in winter is a great idea for your screens – especially with the season of excess just around the corner.

 

Finally, it’s important to remind people about the flu vaccine, where to get it and what to do if they’re eligible for a free vaccination.

Is this something your NHS Trust would be interested in? If you would like to talk to us about putting these messages onto digital signage in your hospital, making a few changes or even to discuss other messaging options please get in touch!

Digital signage in A&E helps reduce winter pressure

“When speaking to various patients in our department since our screens were installed, they would definitely rethink who they should contact the next time they feel unwell.”

Sarah Wisniewski, General Manager, Emergency Services, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

You’ve seen the newspapers, the television, the internet in general. The reports all say that the NHS is in crisis. The A&E departments are struggling, and it’s not helping that people show up to A&E who don’t really need to be there. This is where we can help. Our screens are a brilliant way to educate patients and visitors to all hospital clinics and departments. We are the UK’s leading provider of fully managed, content driven digital signage solutions to acute NHS Trusts. Working with the largest Trusts in the country, we now have a growing number of digital displays in some of the busiest A&E departments in the UK.

These screens are currently full of messages about the alternative healthcare services available to the public, and who should and shouldn’t be using A&E. Let’s go through just a few of the most useful messages:

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust opted for a message using artwork from the NHS Choose Well campaign. It’s easy to digest and should be recognisable to a number of patients.

Barts Health NHS Trust has a whole series of messages about A&E, here are a couple of them. They clearly define what an emergency is, and where to seek help for non-emergency situations. They also offer advice on visiting a local GP.

Why wait for hours on end in A&E, when Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has this list of local, late night pharmacies displayed on its screens?

The Emergency Departments at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust also have their own selection of brilliant messages with treatment alternatives and a clear, concise definition of what a major, life-threatening illness or injury actually entails.

Of course, the people waiting in A&E who have made the wrong decision are already adding to the pressure and delays in A&E, but our messages seem to be having some effect on where they choose to go the next time they’re ill. We’re also displaying some of the messages on other screens in other departments around hospitals, so that patients and visitors might learn what their options are before they have the chance to make the wrong decision.

It’s a really important initiative. Anything that helps to educate patients about when it is appropriate to visit A&E indirectly helps to relieve the winter pressure currently being experienced and hopefully ensures that the same thing does not happen again. We currently have variety of A&E screen bundles available and the costs are lower than you might think. Please do let us know if  you think this is something your Trust might be interested in.

 

Encouraging exercise with digital signage

We have a great selection of exercise-focussed messages all year around – for sunny days, overcast Autumn days and even some that focus on indoor activity for those harsh winter days.

We always have messages promoting charity walks, runs and bike rides, which many hospital charities use as a successful fundraising opportunity, but what about the people who aren’t quite at that level? We also try to encourage some of the more sedentary folks into exercise and digital signage in hospitals is a perfect first step to get people thinking about how active they are.

This message from Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is really just to remind people that exercise isn’t just for professional athletes! The message reiterates the fact that you don’t have to compete at a high level to keep fit, it’s easy to stay healthy with just 150 minutes of exercise a week.  It also offers suggestions about where to go for further information about starting to exercise.

We also created these messages about ageing and bone health. Exercise can be an important part of staying healthy as you get older and these messages promote that. Some trusts, like St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, offer special exercise classes for people with certain health conditions and digital signage is a great way to promote these classes within appropriate clinics and waiting areas.

The below message from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust focusses on general all round health for the over 40s – specifically women, as this message comes from a gynaecology clinic playlist. It mentions bones losing their density and an active lifestyle being key to maintaining your bones.

The great thing about digital signage is that we can make many variations of the same message for specific clinics within one hospital. Each waiting area or clinic can have a messages highlighting the best kinds of exercise for the people who are most likely to see it – whether those people are elderly, male, female, busy families who may want to exercise together or people with certain medical conditions. This is especially useful for messages about things like exercise, where too generic a message may put people off, or continue the mindset that exercise is for “young healthy athletes”. Putting lots of active messages on hospital digital signage can encourage people to take part in local activities and get moving!

 

New healthcare messages for October

October is another busy month in healthcare, with lots of exciting new content going up on our patient information screens. What’s been setting our pixels alight lately? Well, let’s start with Stoptober.

Smoking cessation messages are a year round necessity for most playlists, but for Stoptober we up the ante a little with a few extra messages and an added dollop of encouragement. This particular message has been all the rage for the last few weeks, here’s an example from our Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust displays:

A classic, clean smokefree message. Minimal text, strong photography and clear information make this a brilliant message.

We’re also starting to put up plenty of flu related messages for Trusts around the country. Reminders about flu jabs, messages specifically for hospital staff and infection control messages are all popular and important at this time of year as we head deeper and deeper into cold and flu season.

 October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we’ve created these two messages for Barts Health NHS Trust to help raise awareness and inform women of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. This second message in particular will probably remain on hospital playlists much longer than just October and will continue to raise awareness and possibly even save lives throughout the rest of the year.

 October is also National Cholesterol month, so it’s a good time to get people thinking about exercise and diet as the weather cools down and comfort food starts to become the preferred option for most meals! We’ve created one message, again for Barts Health, that focuses mainly on exercise and one that focuses more on diet and what can be swapped and replaced in your normal eating routine to create a healthier you! Again, this message can stay on screens longer than just National Cholesterol Month and continue making a difference to hospital patients and visitors all over the country.

If you’d like to see some of these messages your Trust’s patient information screens, or just to learn more about putting digital displays into your hospital please do get in touch.

 

A&E Screens

Let’s take a look at how our partner Trusts have used their patient information screens in A&E to educate the public.

It started off with this message from King’s College NHS Foundation Trust in London, pointing out that many people using A&E could be making better use of other healthcare options available:

Since then, we’ve had the NHS Choose Well campaign launched throughout hospital Trusts all over the country on social media, print media and online, with interactive games, animated videos and lots of good information. Increasingly, many of our partner Trusts have also been using their patient information screens for a specifically created Choose Well message. Granted, the people who see these messages are already in hospital, either as a patient or a visitor, but they’re not solely being shown on A&E screens. If a patient has an ongoing health concern it is important that they are educated about the best and most efficient ways to take control of their health with issues that will arise in the future.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were another Trust who already had an A&E message live on their screens 6 months ago. Since then they’ve updated their message for both hospitals to include current data and figures, and also added the easily recognisable Choose Well thermometer logo to tie in with the campaign.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust were also quite taken with the Choose Well branding, opting to repackage the graphics supplied into their own branded template for this simplistic yet striking message:

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Not to be outdone, Barts Health NHS Trust came up with a selection of 8 different messages about the matter! These will sit in their playlists; dispersed amongst their other messages; increasing the chances that any visitor to the hospital will see and notice at least one of them. As there are 8 messages they also manage to cover the topic in a much more thorough manner, with a detailed explanation of  the various healthcare services available, how to access them and advice where further information is required.

It’s great to see the Choose Well campaign in action on our patient information screens, and hopefully we’ll soon see a positive effect with the way people use NHS A&E services.

New healthcare messages for September

September is always a busy month with everyone returning to work from their summer holidays and working in the healthcare sector is no different.

We wanted to give everyone a heads up about all the fabulous healthcare events in the pipeline over the next month. By "everyone" we mean hospitals, patients, staff, visitors, you know, everyone. Enough people so that the Awareness Fairy felt that she had really achieved her goals and beyond with these upcoming awareness campaigns.

What kind of awareness campaigns are we focussing on this September? Well, let's start the month off with Organ Donation Week (5-11 September). Here's a message from Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, letting people know how to add their names to the organ donor register.

 

We've also created these more generic messages for King's College NHS Foundation Trust that can stay on their screens long after Organ Donation Week is over and continue getting names added to that register.

 

Next we move onto Sexual Health Week (12-18 September). The team over at Barts Health NHS Trust already have a wide selection of useful messages on their screens in their sexual health clinics, so a message highlighting Sexual Health Week was only natural. Here's what we came up with:

Bright, colourful and with a focus on STIs and getting tested, we think it fits the bill perfectly. We've created quite a few variations of this message for NHS trusts all over the country.

Now, that week's not just about sexual health. It's also Blood Pressure Week so we've created a message for that as well.

When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? We want to get people thinking while they're waiting or visiting hospitals and give them information on how to access a free blood pressure test to make sure they're safe. This message gets straight to the point.

Lastly, for the whole of September we'll be acknowledging Urology Awareness Month.

One in two people in the UK will develop a urlological condition in their lifetime, but most people don't really know what that means. So we're working with our partner trusts to create all kinds of urological messages for their digital signage to help educate the public and remove the stigma around discussing urological health.

Now that our healthcare signage networks are up to date and looking good it must be time to begin planning for October.

Hepatitis Messaging

World Hepatitis Day is the 28 July and many NHS hospitals are using their patient information display to bring awareness to issues surrounding hepatitis infection in the UK and around the world. We’ve created this message for Barts Health NHS Trust:

It’s a great way to inform patients about the day and any events the Trust is holding to support people with hepatitis.

We’ve also created this message specifically about hepatitis C, which can stay on the screens for a longer period of time, even after World Hepatitis Day is over:

 

This message has all the vital information patients need; their chance of having previously contracted the disease, a list of risky behaviours to avoid and contact information for the Hepatitis C Trust’s Confidential Helpline. This makes it easy to arrange a test if patients or visitors have any concerns about their hepatitis status.

Digital signage is an incredibly efficient way of raising awareness for many medical conditions and diseases and getting information about testing and treatment to the people who need to know. We work with many trusts to make all kinds of messages on this basic theme. Hepatitis has taken the spotlight this July and over the coming year this brilliant message will be seen by more than 10million hospital patients and visitors around the UK. It’s a brilliant way to ensure people are aware and able to access the help they need.