Patients Prefer Digital Communications to Print

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Arbitron study measures patient and visitor response to digital screens. Three out of four found content enhanced the hospital experience and provided health information they could use, according to MedCenterDisplay.

Three out of four patients and caregivers who viewed hospital messaging on digital screens in eight hospitals in the U.S. found the content enhanced the hospital experience and provided health information they could use, according to a study by media and marketing research firm Arbitron, Inc.

MedCenterDisplay, a leading provider of digital patient engagement networks for hundreds of hospitals in the U.S., commissioned Arbitron to conduct on-site interviews of adults who had viewed hospital and health-related information running on flat screen monitors placed in hospital waiting areas and cafeterias.

The study, which evaluated the effectiveness of patient engagement and hospital-branded messaging, revealed that nearly 75 percent of visitors who viewed the MedCenterDisplay screens could recall at least one message running on the network.

Survey respondents said the video screens were informative and educational, better than print as a means of distributing information, and that they learned something new from the screens, ranking this information from 4.0 to 4.5 on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the highest ranking.

“We believe these findings clearly reinforce the value in establishing a robust patient engagement network that brings patients and hospitals together to improve healthcare,” said Gregg Tarquinio, Ph.D., chief executive officer of MedCenterDisplay. “Already hospitals that communicate key healthcare delivery messages on digital screens are seeing lower readmissions and higher ‘HCAHPS’ patient satisfaction scores.”

On average, visitors were exposed to patient education and hospital content an average of one hour and eight minutes while in the hospital.

Those surveyed found information on hospital news, general health news, and tips on maintaining good health most interesting, ranking the information from 4.0 to 4.6 on a scale from 1 to 5. These rankings mirror recent reports that healthcare has become one of the highest search topics online.

The report also found that only one-third of all visitors to the hospital were actually patients. Two-thirds were family members and caregivers of patients, which correlates with national estimates on the rising number of adult caregivers reaching nearly 45 million, according to AARP.

“In any patient engagement effort, hospitals have a real opportunity to reach out to everyone involved in a patient’s long-term recovery process,” said Tarquinio.

“Our research has shown viewers of digital displays often trust the information they see on point-of-care networks,” said Diane Williams, senior media research analyst for Arbitron. “This increased credibility clearly distinguishes these networks from other digital and video channels.”

About MedCenterDisplay
MedCenterDisplay is the leading provider of digital patient engagement networks for top hospitals across the country. Founded in 2008 by healthcare and marketing professionals, the company provides digital marketing, social media and online marketing that enhance patient communications, reduce patient readmissions and improve HCAHPS scores.

About Arbitron
Arbitron Inc. is a media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters, cable companies, advertisers, advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The Company has developed the Portable People Meter, a new technology for media and marketing research.

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