Projects: Digital Signage Now Part Of Addictions Treatment Program

March 23, 2016 by Dave Haynes


So much of the content that I see developed for screens in specific vertical markets and use cases follows perfectly acceptable, but highly predictable patterns. Corporate screens get staff messaging. Retail gets sales and promotion.

So it’s interesting to see a project – this one in health care – that does something different. A non-profit focused on addiction treatment, recovery and prevention is using screens to help battle and win over the personal demons of people in care.

Iowa’s Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare is a preferred provider of prevention and treatment services in the U.S. Midwest that has a variety of evidence-based prevention and treatment options, including residential programs, outpatient services, relapse-prevention training, individual and group counseling, and 12-Step meetings.

The cost of substance abuse is huge in the U.S. – estimated at $346B/year – so the health care industry is trying to adopt information and communication technology tools as a way to help clinicians work with patients to manage addiction.

The results are promising, so far.

mvix_logo_tagline_front“Studies show that patients acknowledge more drug use and psychiatric symptoms online than in face-to-face interviews,” says a press release about efforts at Prairie Ridge, which is using screens powered by Mvix’s digital signage platform. “They are more comfortable with the anonymity of digital screens than face-to-face interviews. Digital signage is one of the Information and Communication Technologies. Displaying information such as skills to achieve and maintain abstinence and improve social functioning boosts motivation among patients.”

“One key aspect of treatment is keeping patients on track throughout the day,” says Mark Harrington, the IT Coordinator at Prairie Ridge. “The digital signage network in our facility is doing a great job of of assisting our patients with their schedules without using paper.”

Digital signage screens, says the release, are helping current and new patients become familiar with the recovery process. Brochures can be easily ignored or overlooked, but a large display cannot. They demand the attention of the patients. The screens are also beneficial to counselors. Typically, they have to repeat basic information multiple times, deal with difficult patients, and tackle emotionally draining issues. They burn out.

With digital signage, the counselor can offload the routine or standard information to a large display, and they’ll have more time to focus on individual patient needs.

There are screens in three areas:

  1. The reception area display welcome messages and showcase local community outreach efforts.
  2. The staff lounge screens are employee communication – displaying company events, industry updates and the agency’s coverage in the news keeps staff informed about their employer.
  3. Screens in the men’s and women’s residential areas have replaced the traditional bulletin boards – used to educate patients, ensuring a continuing flow of helpful information.

The return on objectives of Prairie Ridge’s digital signage network has been great. “We have seen a decrease in the amount of effort required to disseminate information,” says Harrington. “We’ve become more nimble and are able to display up-to-date information that’s relevant to patients, staff and visitors.”


Leave a comment