How Does Digital Signage Promote Community Health?

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Is there a relationship between digital signage and improved community health? Can adding digital displays to your practice or hospital really boost your patients’ engagement with their health?

What Do We Mean by Community Health?

‘Community health’ is one of those woolly, catch-all terms that is used interchangeably to mean several different things. To policy-makers it means the general wellbeing of the populace at large. To many within the medical profession, it means everything outside the immediate care provided in an emergency situation including outpatients appointments, community nurses, specialist services such as dementia care, school nurses, and ongoing care like physiotherapy and language therapy.

While it’s all of those things, what we mean by the term is is how healthy a healthcare provider's core patient base is — in other words, everyone who visits your practice or surgery.

See 9 ways new technology can transform the patient experience in our  infographic.

How Does Digital Signage Promote Better Community Health?

There is a long-established link between patient engagement and improved healthcare outcomes. There is plenty of papers and studies on the subject that have come to the conclusion that patients who feel more involved with their healthcare are more likely to:

  • Report that the chosen treatment was right for them
  • Recall necessary information and knowledge
  • Adhere to their chosen treatment plan
  • Participate in monitoring and preventative medicine activities

Digital signage has a big part to play in this. Whether positioned in your waiting room(s), in hallways or wherever patients arrive, digital displays represent a unique opportunity to inform a captive audience. After all, there isn’t a lot else to do in a waiting room, aside from people-watch, read October 2004’s National Geographic or scroll endlessly through social media.

However, you do have to do it the right way. Your digital signage should should deliver content in an engaging format that's relevant to the patients in your waiting room at any given time. There are several ways to achieve this, including:

Promotion of Seasonal or Specific Healthcare Campaigns

Starting off simple: digital signage is the perfect vessel for delivering seasonal healthcare campaigns — such as flu vaccination awareness or holiday vaccinations.

Digital Sigange is so well suited to this because most modern displays can be used with media players and content management systems. This allows you to play the content you want when you want it. So, it could be that you want to play flu vaccination content during a clinic specifically for elderly patients or sexual awareness content during a sexual health clinic.

Digital signage’s advantage over other methods like leaflets or even newer technology like SMS is its immediacy. Whereas SMS and emails can be easily ignored, and leaflets often need to be sought out, digital signage is an opportunity to provide patients with important information while they wait, in a format that catches the eye — provided displays are positioned optimally.

Community-specific Content

Similar to the previous point, digital displays are also a great way to deliver content specific — or that’s particularly relevant— to your patient base. It could be something as simple as upcoming practice closures or it could be something more complex like information on healthcare concerns specific to your locality.

Some digital signage solutions offer modules or content management platforms that allow you to create and publish custom content. This allows you to tailor the messaging you display to your community, promoting the information that’s most engaging and relevant to them.

Delivery That Has an Impact

The average Australian spends some 5 hours and 34 minutes daily consuming digital media, whether through the internet or social media. At the same time, print media continues its inexorable decline — proof that the way we consume media and access information is changing forever.

As a result of this, many of your patients will have grown used to consuming information in a way that engages them and suits modern tastes. So, it makes little sense to try reaching most patients through traditional mediums such as health awareness pamphlets and posters.

This is where digital signage can be a real asset. Using digital media players to boost patients’ engagement with their health follows a simple logic: patients are much more likely to remember, engage with, and apply healthcare messaging if it’s delivered in a way that piques their interest or keeps them entertained.

Delivering this information through interactive video, custom healthcare awareness content or informational films is much more likely to be effective at this than tired old pamphlets or peeling posters that were last relevant in 2003. What would you remember? The 3-minute short about a healthcare concern relevant to you played on state-of-the-art digital display or the dog-eared pamphlet you skim read as you waited to be seen. Our money’s on the former.


Digital signage is a relatively cost-effective and easy way to begin tackling the health of your patient community and patient engagement. However, it’s by no means the only method and other technologies such as SMS, healthcare apps, and patient portals have a part to play, as well as tried-and-tested options like patient surveys. To learn more about improving patient engagement and boosting the health of your community, download our ebook or check out our infographic:

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