Getting patient feedback

We like to know that our patient information screens are useful. We like to know that digital signage in hospitals is an effective form of communication between an NHS Trust and the public. We like to know that the messages we’ve created are being seen and remembered. What’s the best way to find this information out? Ask the patients and visitors in the hospitals we work with. Many of our hospitals often conduct patient surveys to learn more about their patients feelings on Trust communications. The data can be pretty interesting, and we’ve found over the last few years that it’s pretty consistent wherever we go.

For example, most people surveyed find our patient information screens to be a useful source of information. At Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust’s Antenatal clinic 77% of people surveyed found the screens to be useful, compared to only 40% who found leaflets useful, and only 35% who found the posters displayed useful.We found this experience to be fairly uniform across many surveys, with 94% of people surveyed at Barts Health NHS Trust, 71% of people surveyed at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and 89% of people surveyed at University College London Hospitals NHS Trust finding the patient information screens to be a useful source of information. We’re pretty thrilled that that’s the case.

Of course, we always want to know that the messages we make are being read, understood and remembered, so it’s interesting to see how many people remember a specific message that has played on the screen while they’ve been waiting. At the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust 73% of patients remembered seeing the message asked about in the survey (it happened to be a guide to breastfeeding). This is great news, and shows that the messages we make are not only catching patient’s attention but keeping it as well. We’ve also read studies abroad demonstrating that roughly 50% of people can recall the information they saw via digital signage a month after seeing it! It would be interesting to gather comparable stats in the UK and in hospitals specifically, but we have every confidence that the results would be favourable.

Digital signage in hospitals works. Patients love it – in fact, at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust 79% of people surveyed wanted to see even more information on the screens, which we’re happy to work with the Trust to achieve. We also ensure that patients are asked about information they haven’t seen on the screens, or if there’s a topic or a subject that they feel could be further expanded. We get lots of great ideas for messages from these survey results, including way finding messages, hospital restaurant opening hours and more messages to benefit the deaf, as the deaf are obviously a perfect match for the very visual medium of digital signage. We have now integrated videos with sign language into some of our screens.

The screens are also helping to improve the whole patient experience at many hospitals, with more than 80% of people surveyed reporting that they were more aware of hospital services available to them after viewing the screens, including patients at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust. 85% of respondents said that the screens improved or greatly improved the experience of using the hospital. This feedback is a valuable resource and helps us to continue to improve our services in NHS Trusts around the country. Keep the comments coming!

If you’d like to know more about the information we’ve gathered through patient surveys, please visit this page.