Healthcare is growing at a record pace. Our aging population is fueling a greater demand for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Healthcare job growth outpaces almost all other industries and accounts for 22% of overall job creation. Despite this, healthcare companies struggle to attract, retain, and motivate workers. This directly impacts the quality of care and hits the bottom line. The financial impact of 1% turnover among nurses equals $300,000 per year.
Effective communication is at the heart of keeping employees informed, engaged, and wanting to stay in their jobs. Countless options are available for reaching employees including intranets, emails, digital signage, collaboration tools, mobile apps, face-to-face meetings, posters, notice boards and more. Healthcare employers are often baffled by which combination of tools best fits the unique challenges in their environment.
Workforce challenges that healthcare providers face
- The environment is chaotic, unpredictable, and stressful, which in turn impacts quality of work.
- Distraction levels are high with many urgent matters competing for workers’ attention.
- The nursing shortage contributes to more high-pressure conditions.
- Many workers such as doctors, nurses, orderlies and operations staff are not at their desks.
- Communication needs to be efficient and time-sensitive.
- It is a highly regulated, compliance-driven environment where proper procedures must be continually reinforced.
- Turnover is high and getting higher (20.6% in 2017 vs. 15% in 2010).
- Many shifts compound the need for keeping everyone informed 24/7.
12 Ways Digital Signage Helps Reach and Engage Healthcare Workers
When it comes to employee communication, there is no such thing as a magic bullet. Success is about combining different tools to maximize reach and effectiveness. Digital signage is a popular choice because it offers a dynamic and flexible solution for reaching workers in a healthcare setting.
Visual Communication Works
The advertising industry has long known how to get our attention and influence our behavior. It’s called “repeated visual exposure.” By combining captivating images and brief messages and repeating them 4-5 times, the messages stick. Workplace digital signage makes it easy for managers to promote/advertise their messages to their employees, reinforcing them in engaging ways that will influence behavior and attitude.
Deliver the Right Message
In advertising and marketing, success is all about understanding your target audience and making sure that your message is relevant to them. With digital signage, the number of screens and their location creates the framework for reaching all employees. The content playing in those screens is determined by who will see them and what they need to know. For example, a screen in the pediatric care wing would display content relevant to those workers, whereas screens in the breakroom would display content that affects all workers.
Keep Compliance Top-of-mind
Staying on top of ever-changing regulations is a fact of life in the healthcare field. Nothing can take the place of training, certifications and audits. But digital signage is a very effective tool for ongoing reinforcement of policies such as CMS & DHHS regulatory requirements for continuous improvement of safety & quality standards. Keeping it visual and repeating the message is sure to make your messages visible and memorable.
Get the Word Out
Most digital signage software has the ability to produce emergency notifications that can override any other content in the playlist. This is helpful for urgent messages such as an on-site threat, security breach, weather emergency, etc. By pre-setting such messages, they can be easily activated as needed.
Save Time With Scheduling Tools
Scheduling tools save time and ensure that your messages are being delivered in a timely manner. Whether you need to repeat a message to reach each shift, time a message to reinforce a deadline, or schedule an important piece such as a CEO video on all screens at all location, digital signage can do that.
Make Them Feel Valued
Recognition is a key factor in retaining and motivating workers. Without it, it’s easy for workers to jump ship to another hospital. Digital signage is an ideal tool for recognizing individuals and teams for a job well done, work anniversaries, educational achievements, and other milestones. Colorful templates make it easy to post a picture and add a congratulatory message.
Highlight Critical Deadlines
In a fast-paced environment, it’s easy for employees to forget about an upcoming CMS audit or a 401(k) open enrollment deadline. Countdown widgets and templates make it easy to call attention to upcoming deadlines or events. These set-and-forget reminder messages save time and visually reinforce your message.
With more open jobs than candidates, healthcare workers have a choice. Culture has become a critical factor in what employees look for in a job. Many healthcare facilities use their digital signage as a channel to promote their culture. It’s an ongoing effort that showcases what is unique about your workplace, be it the people, your approach to patient care, charities you support or why it’s such a great place to work.
Promote In-house Initiatives
Think of digital signage as way to spotlight your programs, competitions or initiatives. Whether it’s hand-hygiene, patient care or health & wellness, treat it like a campaign. Use the screens to announce it with eye-catching graphics. It’s easy to promote it with program updates and news on success stories or winners.
Reach Across the Organization
Given the size and complexity of a healthcare facility or campus, typically there are dozens of digital signage screens used for different purposes. Content management software makes it easy to establish an enterprise configuration where message flow is controlled and multiple users can be assigned specific permissions. For example, some messages may be company-wide affecting all workers. Others will be department or facility-specific. This feature creates efficiencies and ensures targeting of relevant messaging.
Welcome New Employees
22% of nurses leave after the first year. With high turnover and competition for hiring, getting employees to start off on the right foot makes a huge difference. Digital signage is a great way to recognize new staff. Show their picture, welcome them and briefly describe what they’ll be doing. Your new employees will feel welcome and others will have the chance to wish them well.
Get Their Feedback
Social media has given everyone a voice to rate, comment on or “like” products and services. Employees expect the same opportunity on the job. Employee survey results are often the catalyst for improving communications. Digital signage is an ideal platform for announcing and promoting an upcoming survey. Let them know what it is, how they can take it and when the deadline is. And that’s just the beginning. Post the results on the screens. Even more important is to tie back any changes or initiatives that come about as a result of the survey. In this way, it will be transparent from start to finish. Employees will know how to provide feedback and they’ll see that you are listening and making changes as a result of it.
It’s no wonder that hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities are turning to digital signage to reach their employees with powerful visual communication.
Start Using Digital Signage to Engage Healthcare Workers Today
Learn more about how to improve employee communication in your facility here.