Is your FQHC still relying on bulletin boards to inform in-clinic patients of various programs, services or events? It’s time to come in from the cold and go digital. Here’s why:

  1. Maintaining bulletin boards is not cost-effective. To keep them updated requires precious staff time and they never are as up to date as they should be. Not really.
  2. Unless you have a bulletin board on every single wall in the line of sight of patients, most won’t see your important update.
  3. If you serve patients who prefer to speak languages other than English, you need to add those to the walls space. This adds more paper clutter to your walls and at the same time reduces efficacy of messaging because visually you are competing with yourself against your other flyers/posters. And they still may not be seen by your patients due to point #2.
  4. All those flyers on the wall? They are not truly “seen” by most patients except as an unpleasant distraction in the waiting room (where patients don’t want to be in the first place). Even pretty flyers on a wall, when surrounded by other random not-so-pretty flyers, will detract from the patient experience when you could have something aesthetic for people to enjoy while waiting to see a care provider. Again, per rule #2, unless you have plastered your flyers everywhere, they just won’t be seen in detail on a consistent basis other than being “wall clutter” of their own.
  5. Meanwhile, if you are showing anything other than your own soothing programming (with your services info on the side) you are missing the best way to enhance the patient experience in your clinic while upselling services, which leads us to point #6.
  6. Prospective customers are nice and all, but guess who your most important customer is? The ones you have in your clinic. You have already succeeded in attracting them and for a fraction of the cost of other advertising, you can inform these very real patients of additional services at your clinic while they are being entertained at one or your locations. A busy mom with kids seeing their pediatrician may not be aware her FQHC has added optometry and the ease of scheduling a visit until she learns about it in-clinic.

With that in mind, I recently reviewed three different in-clinic digital networks to replace current programming for an FQHC that somehow got stuck years ago with a service which provides stale information with content that does not even reflect the patients that we serve. The services I looked at were Everwell, UpShow and ItsRelevant. All of them work with a small, dedicated USB type box that connects to your clinic televisions (like a Roku). They were all delightful in their own way, but there was one clear winner from an FQHC point of view.

All three providers allow for integrating with your social media or other graphics to allow for messages and QR codes that can be scanned by patients with smartphones, leading them to surveys or programs. So, your patients can enjoy programming you put together with side messages promoting services of choice. Additionally, all three options reviewed here provide for a way for your FQHC to generate revenue to offset costs if desired by selling ad space to your own vendors or partners if you so choose. In theory, you could make your in-clinic network its own source of income. At the end of this post, I will let you know which digital network provider stole my heart. For now, here is an overview of these three digital infotainment providers.

Everwell has an impressive look and a huge library of content to program from, which is no surprise once you learn it is/was connected to AccentHealth. Now it is a brand of MediVista Media. If you like polished health-themed content, this might be the ticket for you. I personally am not a big fan of “health videos” in-clinics (for cultural and language reasons), but one of Everwell’s plusses is its access to soothing webcams across the world. Nature and animal video channels are a brilliant way to entertain diverse patients who may all speak different languages. Meanwhile, with rotating multilingual messages on the side of the universal webcam, you can reach all your patients in the language of their choice in a very subtle way. Everwell also offers other exciting programs, but when it comes to medical type videos, they have a deep library. To find out their costs, you will need to do a demo with their sales representative.

UpShow is a service I checked out three years ago when it was a fledgling company offering a way to bring social media posts to screens in clinics. I liked it then…and I must confess I have totally fallen in love with it now that it is all grown up with added entertainment. Even better, it interacts with your Canva accounts to seamlessly deliver your unique content. Like its counterparts, UpShow has different professional entertainment options you can pick and choose from based on the tier system you buy into. What sets it apart is the ability to niche program from TV screen to TV screen. Any FQHC which has a general waiting room, a pediatric waiting room, a women’s health waiting room, a dental waiting room, an EITP waiting room and so on – well, you can see why you can use in-clinic programming with different screens for different patients being served. Another bonus? You can scale up if you decide to go digital signage in all your exam rooms. And why wouldn’t you? If flyers in your waiting room are a waste of time, space, and patient experience, guess what? They are also missed opportunities in the exam rooms. To check out pricing, visit this link. But really you will have to schedule a demo to get the actual price for what you truly need if you are an FQHC with social media.

ItsRelevant says it combines the best aspects of TV, digital signage, and social media: “We keep the TV on your TV, letting you attract the attention of your visitors with programming they’ll enjoy, and gently deliver your messages to them.” Indeed, Its Relevant TV is uniquely able to filter out inappropriate content with both general and super specific keywords that can be defined by your medical practice. Its infotainment/news focus is to be lively without being divisive. Like the other channels, you can display social media automatically. They do provide a lot of family-friendly entertainment, as they license over half a million TV programs, and they continue to add to that. You can check out their pricing at this link.

Bottom line: The winner in my book? UpShow, hands down.  Its interface with Canva for programming combined with the ability to scale up to deliver digital signage to all your exam rooms – each with its own programming – makes this an easy choice. Bonus: it was the least expensive option up front for multiple locations and waiting rooms. For these reasons, the rose goes to UpShow.