By Joshua Titus, CEO and founder, Gozio Health.
The role of mobile wayfinding solutions for hospital systems has quickly evolved from a novel service offered to an essential component of a patient-centric approach. The catalyst has been the growing importance of patient experience to meet both care and competitive standards. A wayfinding platform not only improves patient’s easy access to care, but also provides the experience that patients have come to expect from their healthcare system.
A modern wayfinding platform does more than fulfill its fundamental mission of helping patients find their way around facilities. It is a valuable channel for health systems to engage their patients before, during and after each encounter. All the services a provider offers can be embedded in their wayfinding platform providing opportunities to engage patients and build new avenues for business development.
Health systems have recognized this, and are making extensible mobile wayfinding platforms an important element of their efforts to improve patient experience. An extensible wayfinding platform aligns health care providers with the best aspects of consumerism, serving patients when and how they want to be served, using their smartphones.
Wayfinding Contributes to Positive Patient Experience
Digital, experiential wayfinding not only puts patients and visitors on the best path to their destination, but also gives the healthcare organization an important pathway to keep patients in their system for follow up care.
Patients typically need help finding the right area within a hospital and prefer a self-service navigation using their own smartphone instead of having to ask for directions. A wayfinding platform provides a hand holding experience for patients initial visit and extends to any subsequent visits.
Wayfinding Improves Continuity of Care
Apps that go beyond basic navigation and support physician lookup, messaging and other functions help develop ongoing, rather than episodic, interaction between the patient and provider and improve continuity of care.
Patients can receive an appointment reminder message, guidance to the closest parking followed by step-by-step directions in real time to their destination indoors. When they are seeking follow up care, they can make an appointment, view wait-times access their medical records, pay their bill and much more.
Wayfinding to Navigate the Health Journey
Today, navigation provides the opening to a platform the provider can use to offer different services to the user and to interact at different points in the care journey. Gartner notes this evolution in its recent report that, “Wayfinding has evolved to encompass an ecosystem of technologies that combine in a way that assists a patient to conveniently locate and navigate the health care provider facility and space. Experiential wayfinding helps patients navigate an episode of care or navigate their health journey. Wayfinding of all forms is becoming a requirement as the complexity of care delivery continues in increase.”
It is hard to achieve a top-level patient experience when an encounter begins with the patient becoming lost, delayed and anxious. Those problems are preventable by offering mobile wayfinding, the value of which will continue to rise in tandem with the growing importance of patient experience.
Modern wayfinding produces a positive experience that serves as a platform for continued communication, giving providers the flexibility to create strategies, and easy access to care that supports their patient engagement goals. Wayfinding solutions therefore need to support those capabilities to help providers support their patients with excellent experiences throughout the continuum of care.