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Signage Streamlines Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Part 2

Implementation of a digital-signage network at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has helped to streamline processes for hospital staff--and enhance the way the hospital interacts with p 11/25/2008 7:00 AM Eastern

Signage Streamlines Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Part 2

Nov 25, 2008 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt




AVI-SPL integrated Cincinnati Children's Hospital's patient workflow into a realtime digital signage system.

AVI-SPL integrated Cincinnati Children's Hospital's patient workflow into a realtime digital-signage system.

Implementation of a digital-signage network at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has helped to streamline processes for hospital staff—and enhance the way the hospital interacts with patients’ parents. In Part 2 of Sound & Video Contractor’s interview with Brian Hicks, a systems analyst with the hospital’s information services department, Hicks talks more about project integrator AVI-SPL and its deployment of networked NEC screens along with teleconferencing and interactive kiosks at the hospital’s main location and at its new Liberty campus. (See part 1)

SVC: Describe how AVI-SPL managed your signage implementation project. How long did it take?

Hicks: The integrator assigned a project manager who oversaw the project as well as a technical resource who helped with the design, determining the height of displays, evaluating wiring and potential problems with display clarity, and so on. The installs we had to space out, because we could only do so many per day in a working hospital. Therefore, the whole project took four to five months from beginning to full implementation. Including planning time, we started looking at it six months prior to the project start.

What criteria did you use in selecting the screens? Where did you place them?

AVI-SPL was very good at helping with prices. We purchased 20 NEC screens in the first bulk order. The 46in. display models we went for have handles to make them easier to move, and they have a very thin bezel so we were able to get these screens very close to each other in multiscreen configurations. The bezel was like a half-inch—it almost looks like there is just one screen, and the matrix displays function basically just like one screen.

Placement locations included operating room front desks, same-day surgery, one in the anesthesia lounge, and one in the surgeons’ lounge. We also have one in sterile processing—the department that cleans devices in the operating rooms—so they can see the processing needs based on the patient’s procedure before they go in there to work and so they can see live updates.

Where else did you implement digital signage and AV systems?

We have another campus—the Liberty campus—that’s approximately 45 minutes away from the main hospital. It ties into our network with a direct fiber connection. Because it’s a new facility, just opened up in early July, we also use screens and projectors in each room. For example, some consultation rooms have screens where patients and their parents can get an overview of procedures—doctors can sit in front of PC and walk through the process. Those are standard PCs with large NEC LCDs. Some of the rooms have projectors as well. Our conference services staff is moving towards videoconferencing, so we can have actual videoconferences between campuses. Doctors at the main campus can speak with doctors at the Liberty campus and there are two conference rooms with high-definition cameras.

Otherwise, at Liberty, we have signage in operating rooms and the emergency department. It’s basically the same setup as the main campus—with signage in surgeries, same-day surgery, sterile processing, the surgeons lounge, and so on.


Signage Streamlines Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Part 2

Nov 25, 2008 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt




How does the information services department manage all these screens remotely?

We’re using NEC’s NaViSet software to control the screen. We only have one model of NEC screen here, but we can get hardware inventory, serial numbers, power controls, “change the channel,” and change color or resolution—in other words, we can remotely correct problems with display colors.

What are the most common display problems you deal with?

Sometimes doctors or other staff members turn off a screen. Because they’re not aware of the technology, some departments were turning off screens in the evenings, then the next day, staff would come in and say the screens weren’t working. The software enables us to take care of it in seconds from getting a call.

Do the doctors and medical staff like the new digital-signage system? What’s the impact on operations?

There are no complaints from the staff. We hear that is has increased workflow, making it faster and safer, enabling a much faster response time. It’s also a benefit to be able to reflect in real time on the screens whether patients are there or not. With patient families, the signage system seems to relax them a lot because they can see the status of their child—it lets them know that they’re OK.

What’s next for the hospital’s signage technology?

As digital signage grows, we hope to take the information and use it in other ways—for example, by implementing an interactive way finding system and interactive kiosks. We have two kiosks in pilot mode. Patients’ families can walk up, register, scan an insurance card, and pay their copayment with a credit card. As of right now, it’s working great. We’re piloting the kiosks at the new Liberty campus and in orthopedics in the main hospital campus. The touchscreen systems tie directly into our hospital management application.

For more information, visit www.avi-spl.com and www.necdisplay.com.


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