Australian Hospital Finds Its Way with Digital Signage

Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) is the largest-ever public health infrastructure project and one of the largest research facilities in Australia. Command Australia, with 22MILES, was contracted to design a full interactive wayfinding solution, with a true in-house management capability, for this eight-building healthcare complex. The end solution’s feedbacks surpassed all expectations.

Background

gcuh-1214After almost five years of construction, the brand new Gold Coast University Hospital was officially opened Sept. 28, 2013. The AUD$1.76 billion ($1.59 billion UDS) project, made up of eight main buildings and a total of 59 floors with 1.83 million square feet of floor space, needed an additional facility to their traditional signage that would help patients, visitors and staff visually figure out how to get to their destinations hidden among more than 8,000 rooms and 250 departments on campus.

GCUH hired Command Australia (CA) to help with digital signage and wayfinding solutions. To meet its extremely tight schedule, CA came to 22MILES for its next-generation interactive wayfinding capabilities to assist with a powerful digital signage system that could manage directional and signage information in these complex buildings.

Challenges

GCUH knew wayfinding would be a huge issue for the large and diverse population to navigate through. Every day, specific rooms or even entire departments could be frequently moved around, expanded or shrunk, internal staff would need to find non-public rooms, in-patient areas would be closed after visiting hours, and some departments would not open on weekends.

GCUH needed a dynamic and efficient solution to guide individuals from a large traffic to quickly and easily retrieve real-time directional information without getting lost. But large hospitals, like GCUH, couldn’t afford to come back to vendors again and again and keep waiting for assistance with such frequent mapping changes throughout their campus. Another issue they would need to overcome was the multicultural presence at Queensland with the language barriers. Adding up all these requirements, a seamless back-end management seemed to be an impossible task.

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Solutions

CA approached 22MILES after DSE 2012 with the hope they could help GCUH find the best solution to integrate. The digital signage and wayfinding platform from 22MILES was able to cover 100 percent of their needs. The biggest obstacle in GCUH’s adamant requirements was an interactive wayfinding solution with a true user editing/control capability, which was already part of native features in 22MILES digital wayfinding product.

This software offered GCUH a one-stop management experience through its comprehensive built-in features with minimal customizations: map editor handled floor plan updates for both kiosk and mobile, private/public pathway re-routing, and route scheduling; content editor dealt with all content/interface updates in five major languages and automatically connected any live events to the floor map; designer controlled layout update beyond template limitations; KMS monitored player status with flexible scheduling rules; staff management helped 19 private floors to be accessed with a login privilege.

Results

This standard product saved communication time and produced a successful result without any surprises from the beginning. Even with a three-month project delay, 22MILES wayfinding system was able to launch the kiosk testing two months ahead of grand opening. After a half-day training, CA mastered the back-end system, and proficiently published several rounds of mapping changes, language translations and template designs during two-week installation.

The on-site integrator reported that since opening, “a large number of people were using the wayfinding kiosk — everyone including the elderly.” Self-service wayfinding kiosks helped to reduce stress and confusion of patients and visitors, while they navigate at their own pace. GCUH was successfully under the budget and able to add new mobile wayfinding feature or smartphone users. These modern wayfinding kiosk facilities in GCUH proved customer satisfaction and retention.

This case study was reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here.