The role of Branding and Digital Design in the Healthcare industry
Where We Stand
Brief overview of the past and present
The healthcare industry, especially in the UK, is an area where change is needed now more than ever. Many hospitals in the country are slowly becoming more and more out-dated relying on old systems and in some cases, generally bad design where it was not thought about to the level it is today. Patients, Practitioners and Professionals are all effected by this, anything from systems that data spreads run off of, to the signs in health care practices will all need to be changed and updated at some point in the future.
For us, these upgrades need to cover these key areas:
- Increasing patient engagement
- Changing patient’s Behaviour
- Improving Referrals
- Branding and marketing
- Content access and management
How we think a lot of this can be implemented:
The way a practice operates relies on good design choices. Time management is at the upmost importance in healthcare, 5-minute delays could have huge consequences down the line and having a spread sheet running on technology that’s a few years old can really slow this down. This will need to constantly be up to date in the near future; usability will be at the core of this. Everything will need to be thought out to design a system that not only works well, but is simple and very easy for practitioners and professionals to pick up and use right away with noticeable time saving differences.
We can design for visitors and patients directly too. Signage in practices in some areas is in need of desperate change. Some rely on numbering on signs with no real direction on them. For a visitor this can be troublesome often having to ask clearer directions. Signage can also sometimes be generally hard to take notice off and not engaging the user in the correct way. In a healthcare practice sometimes you might not be allowed in an area completely and with this sense not given off by a sign can cause confusion.
New colour schemes with a clearly thought out direction around larger practices such as hospitals would be a great way we can solve this. Maps can help to some extent too but stopping to look at this could also be more of a distraction when in a rush. Another way to improve this across the board is to keep this constant. Updating all practices at once would be essential, having them all run off the same signs and elements as each other would be greatly beneficial for the users, being able to go to a different practices (under the same name) and instantly know the direction needed to go would be great for time saving and well worth the update in branding to achieve. All new modern branding also helps improving referrals too bringing back patients giving them the confidence in practices knowing it is as good for them as possible by looking as clean and professional as it needs to be.
The key though to achieving all design change needed in healthcare is engaging the public and professionals together and bringing a better relationship between them by doing so. Patients often feel unable to relate to what a professional may be recommending or just be confused by it. Well thought out material around practices specifically relating to the patients can improve this as well as ways of being able to see easily how your local health care unit is doing or what could be best for your health leading to better patient behaviour and better referals.
All accounts need to be able to work together better making patients understand a lot more and also having a better chance for feedback to professionals to take into account through well thought out leaflets and online forums made to be used easily but also look clean and simple for everyone. This is all showing why design is at the heart of all that can change in the industry for better results in many areas, every minuet decision could make far better outcomes down the line.