The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything in the healthcare field. Operations transformed, staff adapted, and patients craved information. While digital signs were always useful communication tools for clinics, hospitals and specialty offices, they became essential during the pandemic.
Brookings Health System (BHS) is in Brookings, SD, home of Daktronics. BHS Marketing Director Julia Yoder was anxious about getting the right message out to the community as the pandemic hit, so she reached out.
“I contacted local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to put our messages on digital signs throughout the community,” she says. “We needed to tell people they couldn’t just walk into a facility with COVID-19 symptoms. They had to call first, because we needed to protect our workers.”
Businesses across the city were willing to put health content up on their signs, but BHS needed something closer to home.
“I reached out to Daktronics and got a temporary LED sign on premise,” Yoder says. “We put content up that was specific to healthcare and our situation. Prior to having the sign out front, we had ads in the paper, on social media and on the radio, but people still came in with symptoms. With the sign out front, right there, with the message to call, it significantly reduced the number of people who walked in off the street. We hadn’t used digital signage before, but it helped us in an emergency.”
As the situation changed, Brookings Health System continued to add content to their signs. Their messaging comprised of many messages, including:
- Translating the triage chart for patients, with instructions to address questions. For example, people with mild symptoms should go to the clinic, and those with more extreme cases should go to the ER or hospital.
- How to protect healthcare workers.
- No visitors to the hospital.
- Patients only could enter for appointments – they couldn’t take people in with them.
- Thank you to the community for support.
“We have added messages and haven’t taken any out,” says Yoder. “We also wanted content to be branded like our other media for a cohesive campaign, and it is.”
Grateful for support
Yoder appreciates the support of citizens and businesses in the community, especially Daktronics.
“We had an outpouring of support from the community,” she says. “it was overwhelming and emotional. Having that relationship with Daktronics was the most touching because I’ve had previous experience with them and the people there. Knowing people in the community was so important.”