Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Digital Signage Improves Patient Support Services at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is a large health care organization serving southeast Michigan. It includes seven primary hospitals and seven ambulatory locations. During 2009-2011, the 537-bed hospital in Ann Arbor underwent a $115-million renovation and expansion project that included the construction of new patient towers. The renovation also included an expanded shopping and patient support services area which houses a variety of amenities for staff, patients and visitors.
The support services area is seen by hospital administration an important factor in improving patient satisfaction with the institution. "Health care is a multi-faceted service industry. Our Patient Support Services are held to the same standards set by the hospitality industry," said Joby Mazak, Project Manager for Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. "Our non-clinical services are certainly part of what makes St. Joe's outstanding".
The cornerstone to the area is the popular Joe's Java coffee shop and cafe. With the move to the new patient support services area, Joe's Java transformed itself from a coffee house to a full-service café and convenience store by expanding its facilities and menu selections. Recognizing the importance of presenting the cafe as a consumer-driven eating establishment, the hospital made a commitment to add digital signage in the restaurant for menu selection and promotional information.
"In the old, smaller location, we constantly struggled with the menu boards", said Mazak. "We started out looking for a digital signage menu system that could be easily updated by the cafeteria staff. But, in discussions with Kim Jones from CastNET, we quickly realized that digital signs in Joe's Java are part of a larger effort to improve internal communication to staff, patients and visitors."
Mazak continued, "The hospital's digital signage requirements quickly expanded as we discussed our desire to add more Joe's Java locations and to incorporate our internal St. Joe's TV channel. The hospital required a digital signage software package that could be easily updated through a web browser and that would run effectively on our hospital system-wide intranet. After evaluating several digital display software packages, we selected CastNET 10." CastNET 10 is a product of the CastNET, a Division of Alpha Video & Audio, Inc., an audio and video integrator headquartered in Edina, MN.
Ease-of-use and security were two key features in the selection of CastNET 10. Commenting on these features, Mazak said, "CastNET is so easy to use that the employees at Joe's Java are entering content for the menu boards in their location through a web browser in the cafe. Equally important, CastNET's ability to automatically configure its web interface to show only the fields the user is allowed to change, as well as capability to assign an administrator to approve the content before going live make sure that the digital signs are accurate."
In the Ann Arbor Joe's Java, five 47" LCD's are installed behind the main counter. The middle horizontally-oriented LCD provides promotional information and special announcements. The two vertically-oriented LCD's on each side of the middle screen are digital menu boards.
Three additional LCD's are installed in the main lobby of the Ann Arbor hospital to provide information and directions to visitors and two or three digital menu boards are installed in the other four Joe's Java locations. "We currently have 13 CastNET players installed and are running 20 channels to more than 40 digital signs," explained Mazak. "The CastNET software is highly scalable so it has been easy to increase the number of channels and install additional digital signs in remote locations."
Probably the most impactful channel added by the hospital is the St. Joe's TV channel. This is an informational channel that is pushed out to the TV's in all the patients' rooms. When patients turn on their TV's in their rooms, Joe's TV channel is the first channel they see. Along with providing information about the hospital and events, it provides healthcare updates and wellness suggestions.
As more content is designed for the St. Joe's TV channel, the hospital plans to expand the TV Channel and the digital signage system into the waiting areas of the hospital. The planned screen layout for the waiting area digital signs will be zoned so that the signs contain a main zone for a broadcast channel and a bottom zone and side zones for healthcare and wellness information. Mazak said, "Hopefully, our guests will become more health aware by interacting with our digital signs while they are here as patients or visitors."
About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving six counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy in Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital and 74-bed St. Joseph Mercy Saline. Combined, the seven hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have five outpatient health centers, four urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians.
A member of Trinity Health, the nation's fourth largest Catholic health care organization, SJMH is committed improving the health of its communities by reinvesting its profits back into the community through new technologies, vital health services, and access for all. The hospitals of SJMHS provide approximately $100 million in community benefit to the communities it serves each year.
For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit www.stjoeshealth.org