Venue navigation for healthcare: Wayfinding is improving the healthcare patient and visitor experience, but how?

venue navigation for healthcare and Wayfinding Technology for hospitals
Posted on | Updated on

Healthcare today

Did you know?: The average cost of a missed appointment is $200 resulting in an annual loss of $150bn for the U.S. healthcare system!

The healthcare landscape today is one that has had to adapt to survive the overwhelming events of 2020 and is one that is still recovering. 

As we all know, getting a checkup is a unique experience, so much so that 60% of hospital goers want the patient experience to become more digitally inclusive and personalized.

Consumers are driving—and accelerating—the pace of change in health care.” – Deloitte

In 2020 the global population increased by 1.05% or 81 million people!

Each year the growing and aging population apply new pressure to healthcare venues everywhere to not only find new ways of optimizing the patient experience but to also keep staff safe.


What is Wayfinding?

The definition of Wayfinding is “The process or activity of ascertaining one’s position and planning and following a route.” – Lexico

The purpose of Wayfinding today however is to provide the best experience to individuals navigating to or within large spaces.

How does it work?

Put away your map and compass because these well-known technologies can be used individually or in tandem with others to provide the best accuracy possible:

Bluetooth-Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons

Proximity-based equipment that works as a short-range communicator for transferring Universally Unique Identifying (UUID) information and is made up of a 128-bit number.

This proximity-based device actions certain triggers or events to occur with certain devices based on 3rd party settings.

WiFi Indoor Positioning (WIP) System

The WIP System works by using a collection of Access Points (AP’s) around the venue to send a multitude of data transmissions to determine a client device signifying a customer.

By using an RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) and device MAC addresses, WIP Systems can determine how far from an AP the client device is making their indoor position visible.

Magnetic Positioning

In geophysics, magnetic anomalies represent a unique variation of the Earth’s magnetic field and are often found indoors and are caused by the structure of the building.

As an IPS solution, Magnetic Positioning is great for mapping a venue because all you need is a smartphone. No, really!

Built-in magnetometers (magnetic sensors) are used to locate unique signatures within a venue. This IPS requires the least amount of tech but alone can’t provide the best solution.

Mapping locations

Before users can find their way around a location it first needs to be virtually mapped  with floor plans, entrances, elevators, facilities, and points of interest to boost the experience of everyone that visits

Enterprise wayfinding software provides a powerful platform for businesses to deliver a seamless experience for users but can also capture useful insights that can be enhanced with third-party integrations.

Here’s a tutorial on how to map a location from Purple vendor partner, Indoor Atlas to map locations!

Optimizing the experience

Over time hospital locations undergo changes such as building extensions, new surgical suites or add new equipment. So how can Wayfinding reflect the most up-to-date changes? 

A cloud-based CMS (Content Management System) is used to store all information regarding optimal routes, construction information, and points of interest. From this management system, venues can update areas on a timely basis in order to always keep the navigation experience optimized.

Web Solution

Providing information on the best time to arrive, which entrance to use, and the most efficient route, the Wayfinding web solution allows visitors to check out venues before visiting. 

Kiosk & Digital Display Solution

Navigation displays within venues enable visitors to navigate straight from the start, providing quick start routes to points of interest, 

Additional Email forwarding and printout methods mean visitors remain independent after using the display solution.

By providing visitors with new confidence to navigate the space reduces the need to rely on reception and venue staff to direct visitors.

App Solution

Just like Google Maps or Waze, Wayfinding indoors can be done directly on mobile devices. 

Turn-by-turn display, and transition between floors works with the speed of the user ensuring that they always know what their next move will be.

Purple’s blue-dot navigation also allows for Google Maps and Uber integration, which means that users can start their journey from home using the most efficient route to the venue and then get to their indoor destination through one app!

Other Reads:

Check out these blogs to find out even more about Wayfinding!

Purple blog – History of Wayfinding

Purple blog – Location Analytics & Services: How they can increase revenue

Purple blog – Purple partners with Allina Health to implement wayfinding solution for US Hospital

HIT CONSULTANCY –  Hospital Wayfinding: The Next Frontier in Healthcare Design

Inpixon blog – Advances In Wayfinding Technology Point Hospitals In The Right Direction

© 2024 Purple. All Rights Reserved.