One of the most neglected projects at the hospital is installing hospital wayfinding signs. These signs lead you to the right direction whether you are outside or inside the hospital. For outside wayfinding, you will usually see signs such as ‘hospital ahead’ or ‘ambulance parking’. These signs tell you where to go and where not to go, in case of ‘ambulance parking’ since you do not want to go to the parking area for ambulance and be in their way.
If you are a staff at your local hospital and you think it needs an efficient wayfinding system, you should consider purchasing these signs from professional shops that sell signage for hospitals and other facilities. You can either buy painted signage or digital signs that light up or blink at night. Make sure that you put these wayfindings on locations that can be easily seen by patients and visitors.
Installing wayfinding at the hospital provides a lot of benefits. Some of the main benefits are listed in the paragraphs below.
• The most important benefit of installing wayfinding at the hospital is the reduction of stress and frustration among the patients and visitors. Most people are not familiar with the layout of the hospital even if it is their local hospital, unless of course they work there or is staying there for an indefinite period of time. People who go to the hospital, whether they are patients or visitors, usually feel stressed out not only because of their or their loved one’s illness but also because of the difficulty of finding the right direction, even if this is only subconscious. This can be solved by having an efficient wayfinding system inside and outside the hospital.
• Another important benefit of installing hospital wayfinding is safety to the visitors and patients. If a visitor is pregnant, she is not allowed near an x-ray room which is in use because she will be exposed to x-ray radiation. Pregnant women can be prevented to go near the x-ray room if there is a sign that says ‘caution: x-ray radiation’.
• Wayfinding system makes the rooms more accessible to the visitors. Visitors can easily go to the restrooms, cafeteria, and nurses’ station in case they want to relieve themselves, eat, or have questions about their loved ones’ condition. This makes it easy for the visitors to go about the hospital on their own without getting lost in a maze of rooms and busy people.
• A good wayfinding system also shows that the hospital is organized. Organized hospitals have a more positive impact to their patients and visitors than hospitals that are disorderly. People will feel more comfortable staying in organized hospitals. If they have a good experience during their stay in the hospital, they will surely choose the same hospital in case they need medical attention and might even refer the hospital to their friends and loved ones.
These are some of the benefits of installing an efficient hospital wayfinding system. You should suggest this to your hospital administrators the next time you have a meeting.