Digital Signage Keeps Hospital Patients Informed

Net Display Systems BV

Addenbrooke's hospital use digital signage from Net Display Systems to keep patients up to date.

The Oncology Ward at the world famous Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge, has become the first department in the hospital to embrace modern communication technology - including internet capability - to make sure its patients are provided with up-to-date and relevant information while waiting for appointments.

Together with Visual Planet, Net Display Systems has provided the perfect solution for this well known hospital. Net Display Systems has been responsible for delivering the digital signage software, named PADS Professional.

Digital Signage Software

The new messaging system offers patients expected waiting time, information on cancer charities, news and weather updates as well as relaxing pictures, with an almost limitless potential for future applications. The digital signage software for this project is PADS Professional, developed by Net Display Systems. As David Baslinton, the Oncology Department Business Manager explains, this system offers many advantages over their old messaging 'system'.

“We used to just have notice boards and paper posters. This can look very messy - the posters easily get scuffed and the information quickly gets out-of-date. It can also be very time consuming to produce the material and change the displays."

Hospital Notices and Announcements

David knew what the department needed a modern system which could easily display a changing range of notices and announcements, while also presenting up-to-date information on estimated waiting times.

“We looked at a wide range of options," continues David. "None of them seemed to even come close to offering what we wanted, while the effort needed to manage the content and keep the display fresh was almost as bad as using the old paper poster system!"

Dynamic Messaging System

Using dynamic messaging overcomes their old problem of displaying outdated information. PADS Professional enables the hospital to keep their content fresh and relevant.

“ Unlike other systems which use looped material on CDs meaning that the same content keeps repeating, our system uses Internet Technology to allow the content to be managed remotely and changed automatically. This also has the benefit of being able to easily show new content in different formats, for example videos or other multi-media applications."

David explains why he is happy with the new message system, both for the range of content it displays and the ease with which it can be managed.

“The software package, PADS Professional, that came with the system for managing the content means they're as easy to put together as a PowerPoint presentation. We have several staff who have been trained to use it and because so much of the display is done automatically - it turns itself on and off at the right times and gets news feeds straight from the BBC website - it's a job that takes barely any time."

While David has experimented with other applications, for example using the screens to play cartoons when children were visiting the ward for an open day, he is keen to increase the range of material displayed and to take full advantage of the technology.

Hospital Patient Information

“The main purpose of these screens is obviously to inform our patients," continues David. "So we can show live waiting times automatically from our databases, but with a lot of patients coming here regularly and spending a fair amount of time sitting here waiting for appointments the screens should also be used as something interesting to look at. It's for this reason that in-between the bits of information we also show relaxing scenic pictures and encourage our patients to bring in their own photos of areas they like."

With three screens in the department already, David is keen to increase the number so that every patient has access to one. It's not just the patients either, as David explains; staff from other departments frequently come to visit to see what the fuss is about.

"Other wards are looking to see if they'd like to do something similar. I'm very pleased with Visual Planet and can thoroughly recommend them to any organisation seeking an easy and visual way to keep staff and clients informed."

Addenbrooke's hospital is not the only organisation in health care using PADS Professional of Net Display Systems. Various other health care institutes worldwide like Martha Jefferson hospital, Charlottesville in the USA, Atlantic Health Corp St. Johns in Canada, CHR - Clinique Saint-Joseph in Belgium, Red Cross Hospital, the Hague in the Netherlands and Hôpital Privé d'Antony in France prefer Net Display Systems as provider of their digital signage solution.

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