Patients spend an average 41 minutes in the waiting room and often find the experience stressful, which can impact the patient-provider experience. Retail health clinics might turn on cable TV or provide magazines to pass the time, leading to missed opportunities to engage patients and boost brand loyalty.
In 2022, US Eye started using UPshow CONNECT, a patient engagement platform that leverages ChromeOS, to broadcast sponsored content in the waiting rooms at its 30 locations across the East Coast to grab customer attention, boost engagement and turn screens into revenue-generating tools.
“Each of our brands has their own screen playlist that's custom to the practice and…we break it down even further and do customized content all the way down to just the one office,” explains Haley Guenther, senior digital marketing manager at US Eye.
Before UPshow CONNECT, Guenther managed content across multiple platforms. The lack of centralization and sophistication in the legacy systems made it difficult to manage and consolidate vendors or seamlessly broadcast relevant content to the televisions in clinic waiting rooms.
Tech solutions are about more than broadcasting pre-approved content to captive audiences; the high tech tools offer some big benefits for patient engagement, brand loyalty and the bottom line.
Prioritize patient engagement
Patient engagement starts in the waiting room. The media shown in waiting rooms has a “rapid and profound impact” on patients. Research found that 44 percent of patients watched television health messages in the waiting room and half reported receiving a take home message from the programming.
Custom messaging and waiting room options set the tone for the location; curated programming comforts patients, improves their experience and engages them with branded content. UPshow CONNECT is a solution that makes it possible to manage the content on the ad-free entertainment channels from a remote consolidated, cloud-based dashboard.
US Eye broadcasts content ranging from positive reviews and videos of patient ambassadors sharing their experiences to sales promotions that are pushed out through a central UPshow CONNECT dashboard. Although US Eye operates in multiple markets, the content shown in each waiting room is tailored to the location while maintaining a unified brand message, according to Guenther.
“What we really try to do with all of our marketing is make it as hyper-local to the practice as much as we can,” she adds.
The commitment to patient engagement doesn’t end when patients leave the main waiting area. Each US Eye location also relies on UPshow CONNECT to provide content in the optical waiting areas and dilating alcoves as well as the check-in waiting areas. US Eye also implemented UPshow's Premium Audio in several locations, which Guenther notes led to improvements in patient engagement and overall ambiance.
Boost brand loyalty
A positive patient experience is key to brand loyalty. In fact, it may be five times more important than other strategies and it has a direct impact on their loyalty to a healthcare brand. Screens that display staff bios, written patient reviews, patient ambassador videos and other positive content help patients create a connection to US Eye clinics and providers.
"Our partners see an increase in patient relaxation and comfort when they are introduced to their medical staff via UPshow screens before leaving the waiting room,” says Matt Gibbs, chief customer officer at UPshow. “As patients wait for their appointment, they are already building a connection with the brand and onsite staff.”
US Eye is a surgical-focused practice that performs cataract surgeries on older adults and broadcasting sponsored content in the waiting rooms provides an opportunity to share messaging with their demographic in a unique way.
For those who are less engaged or familiar with technology, Guenther notes, “We are able to share valuable health and lifestyle information with our patients that they otherwise may not see because they aren't using the Internet regularly. But when they come in for their appointments, we have their attention to share helpful information.”
Patients also have the option to scan QR codes to follow on social media, download branded apps, leave reviews or make follow up appointments. Prior to partnering with UPshow CONNECT, US Eye relied on multiple traditional digital signage solutions across various locations, resulting in numerous dashboards for the US Eye team to manage.
Now, the marketing team can target messaging to specific demographics, which studies show increases satisfaction, patient engagement and brand loyalty.
Ramp up retail sales
In medical practices that have their waiting room televisions turned to traditional cable home renovation channels or morning talk shows, there is no control over the content.
“Removing third party ads from waiting room TVs is important to protect your patients, inform them of only information relevant to your brand, and reduce their anxiety while they wait,” Gibbs says. “With UPshow, you have complete control of your branded TV network.”
US Eye installed in their check-in waiting areas, optical waiting areas and dilating alcoves and customized messaging in each space, including an optical discount for customers ready to shop for glasses. The content can be quite granular to feature different sales, promotions and doctors based on the specific office’s needs, which helps drive revenue.
“We have different sales, promotions and doctors who want different things advertised on the office screens,” says Guenther. “We can create customized content all the way down to just one office.”
The "plug and play" solution, along with advanced device reporting in the UPshow Manager, simplified the installation process for all US Eye locations and allows the marketing team to effortlessly push out promotions from a single dashboard.
“UPshow is a benefit offered to newly acquired US Eye locations,,” Guenther adds. “Allowing US Eye locations to have a branded TV network within their office to help increase engagement, brand loyalty and drive sales is a big benefit.”
UPshow provides the technology along with customer support to help healthcare organizations connect with their patients and improve operations. Contact UPshow for a consult to learn more.