7 Best Practices for Healthcare Wayfinding
We were recently reminded of this excellent research study by the Sign Research Foundation: "Wayfinding Management: Models & Methods in Healthcare Environments."
In part, we love this paper because it includes a case study from one of our earliest healthcare facility clients: University of Chicago Medicine. And it doesn't hurt that one of the items in the paper's seven recommended best practices is the core focus and purpose of the SignAgent platform.
But it's not all about us.
We also love this paper because, whether they are our clients are not, all of the healthcare organizations featured in these cases are committed to improving their wayfinding programs, with the end goal of improving visitor experience. That's important for all facilities, but it's especially crucial in healthcare, where the levels of stress for patients, visitors, and staff are especially high to begin with. It also aligns perfectly with our own motto:
"Good signs help people. We help people make good signs."
We can't share the entire paper, but with SRF's permission, here is the summary of the seven best practices it recommends:
1. Identify the role of a “wayfinding manager” to oversee all aspects of the institution’s wayfinding system. Position those responsibilities near Construction or Capital Planning so that they are involved in all renovations or expansions of facilities.
2. Inaugurate a permanent wayfinding committee with participants from patient-facing departments, facilities, and marketing to monitor and continually improve all aspects of visitor wayfinding.
3. Invest in a formalized system of Sign Standards and tune processes and departments to enact, support, and administer those standards across the institution and its satellite locations.
4. Evangelize the positive impact of improved wayfinding tools across the institution and educate staff members how to give directions using the institution’s wayfinding logic and vocabulary.
5. Document and track all aspects of the existing sign system—sign locations, messages, sign types, and destination names—to gain efficiencies in sign projects and to sustain the accuracy of the system as a whole. (This is where SignAgent comes in!)
6. Employ visitor research tools like surveys on a regular basis to evaluate the effectiveness of wayfinding tools and to improve the overall visitor experience.
7. Fulfill visitors’ expectations by integrating wayfinding guidance in digital tools like the institution’s website and app.
Have an interest or responsibility for wayfinding within a healthcare setting? We highly recommend that you purchase and read this research paper from the Sign Research Foundation: "Wayfinding Management: Models and Methods in Healthcare Environments."