Not surprisingly, here at The Healthcare Messaging Group we make lots of healthcare messages. The relationship between healthcare and digital signage is our single reason for rising from bed each morning, strapping on our skates and gliding to work on a virtual wave of joy and anticipation of what the day’s messaging will bring. We love it. We’ve also honed the process over the years, so we know what works in hospitals and what isn’t so great.
One of the most important elements of any healthcare message is the photography. We’ve found that effective photography really helps the public to engage with a Trust’s messaging and to soak up the significant points. What is ‘effective’ photography? Most of the time it’s photography that the Trust has taken of their own facilities, patients and staff members. It adds the personal touch that stock photography messages lack.
Of course, stock photography isn’t all bad. We do source it when necessary – sometimes it just isn’t appropriate for hospitals to use one of their own photos on a sensitive message. But by and large the hospital’s own photography makes for a better message. It makes patients feel more comfortable seeing the hospitals own wards and clinics on the screens, introduces them to the staff that will be caring for them and puts them at ease that the messaging they are viewing is directly from the Trust, and not any kind of third party advertising. It gives your patients confidence in the information they receive from the screens, and they thereby pay more attention to what is being said.
NHS Trust photography often looks fantastic as well. If your hospital has a new building, or has been upgraded, the photos showcase this work all over the site. If the healthcare workers in the images on the screens can be seen wandering around the department patients and visitors get to know them and feel more confident to ask that person questions about their care. They become aware of what kind of uniforms hospital staff wear, and which uniform signifies which job title.
Also, no one wants a playlist full of shiny, perfectly groomed models. That’s not what healthcare is about. Using Trust photos gives the display a higher level of realism. Patients want to see people who look like them. We like to use images of people from all walks of life; all races, ethnicities, age groups and sexualities. The easiest way to do this is to use the hospital’s own photography resources. That way we get nice cross section of the hospital’s surrounding community on the digital displays, where as stock photography is generally full of plastic people with gleaming teeth.
NHS photography is always our preference when creating a new playlist. Patients love it, visitors love it and staff love to see themselves on the screens. It’s always a winner.