Tools & Technologies

By Thomas Roh

Gozio Health’s wayfinding app helps patients navigate through your
healthcare center and can provide tons of usage data about your medical facility.

Navigating the healthcare complex

Long wait times, anxiety, confusion and frustration often can be the experience of patients and their families when arriving at a hospital. Large sprawling buildings with nonintuitive directions and the complexity of healthcare access contribute to poor patient satisfaction. Given the large variety of services offered at healthcare facilities, including radiology, labs, clinics, surgical suites and inpatient units, being navigating to appointments and finding amenities are definite challenges. This problem is exacerbated by the stress of needing to seek medical care in the first place. How can we improve the patient experience and efficiency of access? In what ways can we reduce the complexity of patients’ visits to the hospital so they can focus on their healthcare?

As industrial engineers, we are preoccupied with optimizing scarce resources. Ideally, an organization could just add more providers and update or build new facilities, but if that is not possible one needs to look for creative solutions. One such solution is a new application from Gozio Health that helps patients navigate through the physical care system. Given the nature and diversity of services at hospitals and other large care centers, the buildings cannot always be constructed to support natural wayfinding.

With the use and integration of robot site mapping, Bluetooth beacons and smartphone technology, the wayfinding app can give turn-by-turn navigation for patients through their entire experience at a healthcare facility. The app brings Google Map-like directions at the scale of walking through the facility. By eliminating lost and confused patients, healthcare organizations can reduce lateness for appointments and improve patient satisfaction.

On the back end, Gozio Health customers can hook into the app’s analytics platform. A wealth of usage information can be abstracted to gain insight into your facility. The platform allows users to give feedback on signage, tracks how patients are using the app and records frequently visited locations. The data can be used to improve current static signage and the interface design, along with pinpointing bottlenecks in the facility.

Although Gozio Health’s primary function is to improve wayfinding, the app also provides other vital information for a patient’s visit. It can show appointment itineraries, waiting times for services, amenity locations such as cafeterias and transportation, and provider directories. The app is not restricted to smartphones – it can be used on kiosks, tablets and desktop computers.

The appearance of the app and information held within can be customized to fit an organization’s needs and provide a consistent, enjoyable, branded experience. The benefit of the synergy is to create a reliable platform that can be a catalyst for patient engagement. The end result produces better informed and timely patient visits to create an improved patient experience.

Thomas Roh is a data scientist for the HDR Predictive Analytics team and IISE Young Professional member.