Hospitals have a reputation for being large and complex buildings. Long, winding, repetitive hallways, sprawling campuses, multiple elevators and towers combine to make it easy to get turned around and lost. Being lost can make patients anxious and uncomfortable – feelings that can be avoided with consistent and clear hospital signage and wayfinding.
The medical industry in particular can benefit immensely from wayfinding. Optimized wayfinding helps to drive people easily to their intended destinations. Here are a few tips to help improve facility wayfinding:
1. Taking Advantage of Interactive Kiosks An interactive kiosk is an excellent way to provide patients with a helping hand. These kiosks are best placed in strategic areas such as entrances, lobbies, and other central locations. Interactive kiosks allow visitors to search for various locations on the campus and to obtain the ideal route. These kiosks can also provide important messaging via digital signage when not being used as a wayfinding tool.
2. Using Layman’s terms instead of specialized medical terms The average patient has probably not taken a medical course before and therefore will not be familiar with some medical terms. Since both medical professionals and laymen are familiar with basic terminology, it is ideal to meet in the middle. Using familiar terms will save patients time and enable faster navigation.
3. Mobile Accessibility A lot of patients will have a mobile smartphone with them 24/7. LogicJunction’s wayfinding technology has mobile capabilities, without the need to download an app. Providing patients turn-by-turn directions to their appointment on their own device can provide peace of mind. Additionally, scannable QR codes may be placed in various locations so patients can scan and get directions from anywhere within the facility.
4. Pictures and symbols The brain recognizes images faster than it does words. Adding pictures to your static signage may further help patients to find their way and process important information faster. If employing interactive kiosks, you can repeat this iconography within the step by step directions and on the maps to provide consistency for your patients and visitors.
5. Pre-Planning Take advantage of LogicJunction’s wayfinding pre-planning feature. This allows patients to get directions prior to the appointment, including driving and parking directions. Once in the building, they will already have step-by-step walking directions. This feature can be integrated into your existing appointment reminders. This allows patients to be prepared and more likely to be on time for their appointment, which saves time and money.
6. Color Coding Use bright and bold colors within your facility to mark pathways, rooms and corridors and to distinguish various wards. Patients and visitors will be able to easily recognize what part of the facility they are in if the color coding is kept consistent and used across all methods of wayfinding including static signs, printed maps and interactive directions
Thinking of using wayfinding technology in your hospital? Contact us at LogicJunction for more information and for many more tips for starting your hospital’s wayfinding initiative.