Hospitals Embracing Digital Change
In the face of demographic change, the evolution of innovative technologies and shifting patient expectations, the healthcare industry is preparing to transform digitally.
With hospital funding oftentimes being based on patient satisfaction, the latter also makes for one of the strongest driving forces behind innovation.
Patients have come to expect a certain level of comfort and standard, so excellent online ratings and word-of-mouth are no longer just nice-to-have. Both actually carry a lot of weight and have become a decisive factor for clients when it comes to choosing a hospital for their treatment.
Therefore, staying ahead of the game by providing white glove service combined with state of the art technology, has become crucial for all healthcare institutions.
Indoor Positioning and Navigation is a big part of the next wave of digitalization and can provide hospitals with the change they are looking for.
Lee Health Establishing Digital Hospitals
Lee Health is a leading healthcare provider in Southwest Florida, whose roots date back to as early as 1916. Their hospitals rank among the top 1% for overall care nationwide and have consistently been awarded for their high quality health care. One of these awards is the “Most Wired Award 2018”, which reflects Lee Health’s exemplary adoption of technology.
In addition, the organization has also been accepted into the elite group (top 6.4%) of healthcare systems when it reached Stage 7 of the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Mode.
These recognitions speak for Lee Health’s dedication to bring the very best healthcare services to their patients, and their commitment to use innovative technologies to achieve this goal.
In 2016, a mobile app available for Android and iOS was introduced, to increase convenience levels for patients and visitors. Besides detailed information on all Lee Health locations, the app also allows users to choose from 200 physicians in 25 locations and directly schedule appointments. Mobile billing is another feature that facilitates the overall healthcare experience for patients.
Zac Masinelli and Jonathan Witenko from Lee Health introducing the mobile app at the Coconut Point health facility opening event
Why Integrate An Indoor Positioning System?
Opening a health facility at Coconut Point in Estero, had Lee Health face some challenges. First of all, the healthcare industry is highly competitive in that area, so having valuable differentiators is vital for your business.
Since people living in that area are known to be particularly tech savvy and progressively involved in their healthcare, Lee Health wanted to provide them with a cutting-edge technology-backed healthcare service.
So, after deciding that the focus should be on mobile, indoor wayfinding seemed to be the low hanging fruit that would give them a competitive edge and cater to the needs of their clientele.
“We tried to tackle this project 100% internally with just some Beacons and quickly realized it is deceptively difficult to implement wayfinding without a platform” – Jonathan Witenko, Lee Health
The Coconut Point facility currently covers 163,000 sqft and accommodates 14 beds, but is designed for an expansion to 100+ beds on 500,000 sqft in the near future. It was selected as Lee Health’s launching pad for new technologies, where they could be rolled out in a smaller and more controlled environment without disrupting other processes, before scaling to larger facilities.
The Lee Health App now also helps guiding visitors through the hospital in Coconut Point
Users of the Lee Health mobile app are now able to navigate directly from their home to the right treatment room inside Coconut Point. While Google Maps guides them to the facility, upon entering the building, the indoo.rs wayfinding solution takes over seamlessly.
In the app, the digital map displays the user’s current position in real time in the form of a Blue Dot that moves along as they go. Selecting points of interest (POIs) such as specific treatment rooms, the cafeteria or other amenities, provides them with a valuable tool to navigate anywhere they like, confidently.
Besides patients and visitors, who now don’t have to ask for help or rely on physical signage, the navigation solution also bears great potential to benefit personnel. Since visitors will not ask them for directions as much anymore, they have more time at their hands to focus on their core tasks.
The Project Journey
At the very beginning of their indoor wayfinding project, Lee Health had difficulties pinpointing exactly what they were looking for and understanding how they could get it.
After an inquiry to get real-time wayfinding from their core vendors and a self-attempt failed,
the realization that this was going to be a bigger project than anticipated set in.
“A huge amount of time went into research. Finding the right technology partners – like indoo.rs and Jibestream – did take us quite some time, but in retrospect it was absolutely worth it and we’re more than happy with our decision.” – Jonathan Witenko, Lee Health
The initial research phase turned into 4-5 quite intense weeks. This procedure involved talking to multiple vendors and going on field trips to check out some live demos at sister hospitals that were already using indoor positioning. These proved to be necessary, as many solutions that looked promising on paper, turned out to be rather disappointing in the end.
By introducing Mobile Wayfinding at their new health facility at Coconut Point in Estero, Lee Health took another step towards digitalization. The installation in this new facility is a great opportunity to showcase indoor navigation and also serves as some kind of teaser for other facilities.
Having the indoor positioning solution implemented throughout the building, empowers them to realize a number of other use cases that further help improve workflows and patient satisfaction. Future applications the organization is considering, are wheelchair and iv pump tracking, intelligent parking and a web-based solution.
Moreover, push notifications triggered on the parking lot could help patients get a lift from one of the many golf carts circling there.
Most likely, though, the next points Lee Health is going to tackle, is the development of a web-based solution as well as the expansion to bigger facilities.
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