VA Hospitals Engage in New Ways Thanks to Digital Signage
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system which consists of 152 medical facilities and more than 800 clinics across 50 states.
The VA wanted to provide a better experience to its thousands of daily patients and visitors who walk through its facilities, as well as improve its employee communications and training efforts. Distributing posters and flyers was inefficient, required time and staff resources, and did not meet mandates to reduce the use and expense of paper. The VA’s goal was to have the ability to deliver timely and relevant information system-wide, while also giving individual states and sites the ability to quickly and easily target content to local audiences, needs, and events.
Ten years ago, the VA chose a HughesON™ Digital Signage solution for its many hospitals and clinics. Using TVs and networked media players, the solution supported delivery of dynamic and media-rich content, such as live and on-demand HD video, graphics and images, and animations. Content could be tailored to patients and guests, as well as to employees.
Over the years, Hughes enhanced the solution and its capabilities as new technologies, like SmartTVs, emerged. Use of SmartTVs eliminates the need for media players and reduces the risk of failure associated with having multiple components. This approach is also more cost-effective, since it involves fewer devices and is easier to deploy, maintain and troubleshoot. The most recent enhancements were in response to a specific VA request, which was to have the ability to securely store content in on-premise servers at each medical facility or clinic rather than in the cloud, to meet updated network security protocols.
Today, the fully managed, turnkey HughesON Digital Signage solution is deployed at VA hospitals in 10 states and more than 200 affiliated community-based outpatient clinics. Based on each facility’s needs, the Hughes solution includes end-to-end system design, installation, training, operations, help desk, and onsite maintenance. While all of the hospital networks using digital signage belong to the massive nationwide system, they operate independently.
- In one hospital, the local team deployed 76 SmartTV monitors—one at every nursing station in the hospital to support content targeted to nurses only.
- In states where weather events are common, monitors display storm or tornado warnings in affected facilities only.
- At campuses with pharmacies, monitors show when prescription notifications are ready for patient pick-up; in the cafeterias, they feature daily menus.
- On a particularly large campus, digital signage in the lobby provides real-time “next shuttle” arrival updates for those who are waiting.
- Screens create an immersive digital experience with a variety of content, including video, social media feeds, and animation.
- Flexible deployments can be supported by on-premise servers or delivered as a Cloud-based content management system.
- Large-format digital screens can be deployed as menu boards, employee bulletin boards and visitor guides. Smaller screens make it possible to enhance digital deployments with desk, counter, aisle or small space displays.
- A user-friendly interface makes it easy for staff to schedule, target and manage content by screen location, audience, and time of day.