If healthcare is considered as a journey, then why not provide tools to support all phases of the process, from the time an appointment is made, through to leaving the scheduled procedure? In fact, why not measure how the visitor experiences navigating the facility and use the findings to guide the priorities of a phased implementation plan? Lankenau Hospital agreed with this cutting-edge approach and undertook a program of pre-arrival destination cards, wayfinding guides, exterior and interior signage, and volunteer training.
Using a wayfinding methodology that creates two primary zones in the hospital, the facility is now able to better direct patients and visitors, while creating a new simplified way for volunteers to provide verbal directions inside the facility. Interim follow-up studies have shown how well the system works, with substantial improvements in wayfinding confidence – from 66 out of a 100 to 89 out of 100.
While the signage program and its supporting components may be considered part of a recent approach to wayfinding in healthcare, the ability to evaluate the underlying causes of the problem, provide recommendations on the most effective use of funds, and measure the results are important new steps, providing new added value for clients of the process of environmental graphic design.
Alan Jacobson (Principal in Charge), Jennifer Long, Ryan Aungst, Ellen Taylor