WestMed Medical Group Showcases Calming Images

Read how this healthcare organization uses digital signage to manage patient, visitor and staff stress, possibly preventing incidents.

Healthcare facilities have become some of the most deeply digital environments anywhere, and digital signage has become a mainstay of many medical installations, used extensively from everything from wayfinding to interactive patient and visitor information. But Galapagos tortoises?

Dr. Simeone Schwartz, the president of Westmed Medical Group, a large multi-specialty group medical practice, with headquarters in Purchase, N.Y., says yes. Images from the islands off the western coast of Ecuador taken by Dr. Schwartz join hundreds of other soothing images of animals and landscapes that change every 30 seconds across the screens in two of the practice’s nine locations, with plans to roll more screens out to the company’s other offices in White Plains, Rye, Westchester’s Ridge Hill in Yonkers, Purchase, Scarsdale and New Rochelle in coming months. These will an extension of the 22 HD video walls in the main office’s two main 300-foot-long corridors, and on the second-floor entrance check-in lobby. The system is managed by a YCD Multimedia digital signage platform and draws content bought and donated by patients and doctors. The effect, says Dr. Schwartz, is better than any pill.

“The video walls have already improved patient experience, creating a calm and welcoming environment in waiting rooms and corridors throughout the facility,” he says. “In addition, we offer employees and patients the opportunity to provide their favorite pictures to be displayed on the video walls.”

The rotating images not only offer some serenity to patients, visitors and staff but also increase engagement with the business. The system is also used to display educational programs, seminars and lectures on new health initiatives, but Schwartz says that these types of content applications only account for about 5% of what’s on what he refers to as the “digital art” system. “Ninety-five percent of what you see on the screens are images meant to calm people,” he says. “And they really work.”

Enough to warrant the $200,000 cost of the digital signage system, part of a larger A/V installation undertaken by A/V systems integrator Essentialcom, a White Plains, N.Y. company specializing in digital signage, custom visual public displays, networking, control and enterprise HD IP CCTV for retail, medical, governmental and non-profit sectors. The installation included an audio paging system, conference room projection and screens, and security monitoring.

The videowalls installed at the medical office consist of 70-plus Samsung thin LED displays using

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