The autonomy a patient feels when self-navigating and the ability to solely focus on their care, combined with the scheduling benefits from on-time appointments, proves digital wayfinding is a powerful tool - one that innovative healthcare facilities must consider.

Sprawling hospital campuses can be difficult and intimidating for patients to navigate. For some, locating the correct office or unit may feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Some medical centers cover multiple city blocks, causing navigational difficulties for first time and repeat patients alike. Medical campuses grow and change over time and each new unit, department, or building can cause disruption to a patient's known path.

As healthcare becomes increasingly competitive, the line between patient and customer begins to blur. Healthcare facilities must anticipate patient needs and meet their expectations in a timely manner with convenient and innovative solutions. The health technology industry is rapidly growing and seeks to provide a quality experience for patients and their families. With new technologies constantly emerging, facilities must be selective in implementing proven, user-friendly, and high-ROI solutions that benefit patients, staff, and operations.

One such solution is digital wayfinding. As any sized healthcare campus can be overwhelming for patients and visitors to navigate, digital wayfinding and interactive campus maps provide easy-to-use indoor and outdoor navigation that efficiently directs users to their destinations. These cost-effective, GPS-like solutions address an immediate need with a user-friendly, familiar approach that's easy for facilities to implement.

Navigating as a pain point for patients, visitors, and staff

It's not unusual for patients to get lost during their first visit to a new healthcare facility, some facilities have reported that nearly 30% of patients get lost on their way to their first appointment. Even staff report difficulty navigating large campuses. These challenges can lead to additional stress for patients and visitors, late arrivals, missed appointments, and ultimately delayed patient care. In fact, a recent study found that patients who missed an appointment with their primary care providers were 70% more likely not to return in the following 18 months. Reports have shown that implementing a digital wayfinding solution in facilities reduces patient anxiety related to navigation.

Healthcare facilities have estimated losing $200,000 per year due to scheduling conflicts directly caused by patient navigational challenges. Combined nationwide, hospitals lose $150 billion each year simply due to missed appointments and each no-show appointment costs the healthcare industry an estimated $200. Late appointments can be just as costly. Staff members lose precious time while monitoring for late patients. Tardiness backs up the schedule and creates costly inefficiencies, as well as impacts satisfaction for the on-time patients who are kept waiting. A patient rushing to an appointment will often stop anyone in a uniform to ask for directions — usually a doctor or nurse — which can also take time away from providing patient care and other duties, not to mention increase the potential for exposure risks through added contact.