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Digital signage aiding patient recovery - and staff burnout

Digital signage is helping patients at a United States healthcare facility on their road to recovery and helping staff avoid burnout.

Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare provides addiction treatment and prevention services to individuals and families throughout America’s Midwest.

The private, not-for-profit agency has deployed Mvix digital signage throughout its Mason City facility.

The network includes screens in the reception screening welcome messages and showcasing the local community outreach efforts; and in the staff lounge for employee communication, providing company events, industry updates and the agency’s coverage in the news to keep staff informed, engaged and feeling included.

Screens in the men’s and women’s residential areas, replacing traditional bulletin boards, are being used to educate patients, ensuring a continuing flow of information.

“Displaying information such as skills to achieve and maintain abstinence and improve social functioning boosts motivation among patients,” Prairie Ridge says.

Mark Harrington, Prairie Ridge IT coordinator, says a key aspect of treatment is keeping patients on track throughout the day.

“The digital signage network in our facility is doing a great job of assisting patients with their schedules without using paper,” Harrington says.

Prairie Ridge says early research on the use of information and communication technology in helping clinicians work with patients to manage addiction is promising, with studies showing patients acknowledge more drug use and psychiatric symptoms online than in face-to-face interviews.

While digital signage is being used to help current and new patients become familiar with the recovery process – with the large displays demanding the attention of patients – there is also a positive spin off for counsellors.

“Typically, they have to repeat basic information multiple times, deal with difficult patients and tackle emotionally draining issues. They burn out.

“With digital signage, the counsellor can offload the routine or standard information to a large display and they’ll have more time to focus on individual patient needs.”

Harrington says Prairie Ridge has seen a decrease in the amount of effort required to disseminate information since deploying the digital signage.

“We’ve become more nimble and are able to display up-to-date information that’s relevant to patients, staff and visitors,” he says.

The entire network is managed from one access point, with Mvix’s cloud-based digital signage platform accessible from any internet-enabled computer, allowing Harrington to make changes on the fly and ensure the right message is displayed at the right time to the right people.