Walking into a hospital creates instant anxiety for a lot of people. Whether it’s due to worry over a sick loved one, a dreaded diagnosis or simply the fear of getting lost in a strange place, medical centers tend to generate stress and unease. Healthcare officials do their very best to alleviate the first two causes of worry, but hospitals in general have made little improvements in helping visitors find their way through the maze of hallways and doors that make up treatment centers. Signs and arrows can only go so far. Not anymore. A new generation of technology-driven “wayfinding” tools is being employed to make hospital visits as painless as possible. Touch-screen kiosks or stands will be installed in both Marshall Medical Centers North and South by the end of the year. Visitors will simply tap on the machine’s screen to get directions to where they want to go. The device will then provide directions that can be viewed on the screen, downloaded onto a smartphone or printed out on the spot. Three kiosks in each hospital will direct visitors turn-by-turn through hallways, elevators and doorways. The capabilities begin before a visitor even leaves the house. From your home computer you can log onto the Marshall Medical website and access a link to the wayfinding technology to get directions to an unfamiliar part of the hospital or a new doctor’s office at Marshall Medical. Navigational information is familiar technology to most adults who already are comfortable using GPS navigation. Don’t think this is a case of electronics replacing human employees. Not at all. Wayfinding technology will augment the hospitals’ existing patient services, which include numerous volunteers working at information desks. Plans are to place trained volunteers near kiosks in the beginning to assist visitors in using them. “We will always have a friendly face to help and guide people,” says Claudette DeMuth, marketing director for Marshall Medical Centers. “This additional high-tech tool will enhance what our employees and volunteers already do. Kiosks will serve as extensions of the signs and maps already in place throughout our facilities.” The wayfinding kiosks will get you where you need to be. And that’s one less thing you’ll have on your mind.