CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Lake Health made history last October when it opened TriPoint Medical Center, Northeast Ohio's first digital hospital. Now the health system is the first in the United States to deploy the latest generation of a digital wayfinding system featuring a virtual guide -- or avatar -- that helps patients and visitors navigate to their destinations quickly and easily.
The kiosk-based technology, which Lake Health installed inside the lobbies of its two hospitals, features a touch screen interface and a virtual guide that greets visitors and helps them locate physicians, departments and loved ones as well as hospital amenities such as the cafeteria, meditation room and family lounges. Designed to be intuitive and simple to use, the kiosk displays interactive maps and delivers consistent, flawless directions around the clock. A special feature even allows users to have directions sent to their cell phones via text messaging.
"Navigating medical facilities can cause frustration and anxiety for both patients and their families. This technology ensures that everyone feels comfortable with basic navigation from the moment they enter our hospitals," said Steve Karns, vice president of Administrative Services for Lake Health. "It's just one more way that we're able to enhance the high quality, patient- and family-centered care that we deliver."
Studies have shown that putting patients and their families at ease yields other benefits as well: patients are more likely to arrive for their appointments on time and with a trusting and open attitude toward staff.
"Effective wayfinding systems can help lower stress levels, improve the patient experience, boost a health system's image and lead to improved patient outcomes, safety and profitability," said Ed Wagner, director of sales for LogicJunction, the Cleveland-based company that developed the technology.
Wagner and his team worked closely with Lake Health for nearly two years to customize the technology that works in concert with the more traditional sign-based interior and exterior wayfinding systems already in place at the two hospitals.
"The digital wayfinding kiosks that we designed for Lake Health fit in well with their modern, high-tech facilities, and provide media-rich content to health care consumers who are used to getting information on-demand," Wagner explained.
While the technology is not intended to replace the volunteers who staff the hospital reception desks, it's a way for patients and visitors to access information privately and on their terms. Wagner said that modifications have already been made based on user feedback, and the system will continue to evolve. Beyond providing directions, the kiosks soon will be able to serve as a virtual concierge. Users will be able to search for nearby restaurants, hotels, and even check the local weather forecast. Other future enhancements will include expanded content and multilingual capability.
Since fall of 2009, Lake Health has been using interactive technology successfully at its Diagnostic Imaging departments. Instead of waiting to be called up to a desk to answer registration questions, patients can register via self-service kiosks.
According to Janie Racer, director of Clinical Services at Lake Health, this technology streamlines the patient check-in process and improves the delivery of patient care.
"From electronically capturing consent documents to gathering vital medical history information, self-service technology facilitates a more effective registration process that ensures accurate patient identification and minimizes the potential for errors. More importantly, the kiosks help safeguard patient privacy by eliminating the need to give private information verbally," Racer explained.
Use of the kiosks also speeds the registration process for the majority of patients, and reduces the workload for registration personnel, who are then freed up to assist patients with more complicated registration or payment needs.
"Patient satisfaction has ultimately improved," Racer said. "And we're seeing operational benefits, such as increased patient throughput and improved accuracy of demographic data in patient records."
About Lake Health
For nine consecutive years NorthCoast 99 has named Lake Health one of the 99 Best Places to work in Northeast Ohio. Lake Health was also named among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for Overall Cardiac Services and Cardiac Surgery by HealthGrades. Dedicated to redefining health care in Northeast Ohio, Lake Health provides patient- and family-centered care that promotes a lifetime of health and wellness. Lake Health delivers progressive, compassionate health care through ten state-of-the-art facilities staffed by more than 600 physicians and 2,700 health care professionals. For more information, visit us at www.lakehealth.org.
Founded in 2000, LogicJunction™ is an interactive software company that creates digital characters to help organizations connect with and educate their users. Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, LogicJunction's patented products and solutions combine these helpful, life-like avatars with artificial intelligence to serve clients in many fields including health care, education and insurance. The result: memorable user experiences, educated and engaged customers, a reduction in help and support calls, and a level of self-service not previously possible with any technology. For more information, visit logicjunction.com.
SOURCE Lake Health