Top Tips for Healthcare Wayfinding
Effective wayfinding helps patients navigate your healthcare practice with ease. People are naturally anxious at medical appointments, so wayfinding has excellent potential to improve the patient experience. While signage is the most obvious component of wayfinding, the overall healthcare design plays a vital role in best practice wayfinding. Medical fit-out company Evoke Projects offers tips for navigating healthcare wayfinding with ease.
The benefits of effective healthcare wayfinding
Effective wayfinding helps patients to save time and avoid getting lost. This reduces stress and improves health, well-being and patient flow. It also creates a positive experience associated with your healthcare practice brand.
Accessibility, privacy and safety are obviously paramount in a healthcare setting; wayfinding will guide people through your practice in the most efficient and safest way.
Healthcare signage is not only for navigation but also to deliver important information (e.g., warning or regulatory signs). This is important to meet legal and duty of care obligations.
Signage leads the way
Of course, signage is crucial in wayfinding. Tips from the healthcare design team at Evoke Projects include:
- Think about room names. Wayfinding advice often includes ‘fun’ or memorable room names. This is great for commercial buildings, but healthcare practices often service infrequent visitors with different ages and abilities so don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness! Fun names for children’s treatment rooms can work well in the medical design (e.g., the Pink Giraffe Room or Brown Owl Room).
- Combine colour coding or shapes/images with signage for better patient flow in large healthcare fit-outs. For example, once people have associated ‘Radiology’ with ‘blue’, they can simply follow the blue signs.
- Use universal graphics (such as an elevator or restroom symbol) throughout your medical fit-out instead of words whenever possible. The human brain interprets images up to 600 times faster than text! These are inclusive and easily understood by everybody.
- If you have multinational visitors or staff, consider signs in multiple languages to aid wayfinding and make people feel welcome and comfortable.
- Enhance your healthcare brand with smart brand-relevant signage.
- Digital signs will give maximum flexibility if you undertake a new medical fit-out.
Human and digital solutions
A central place for patients to ask for information is a must in a medical fit-out. If people are stressed, they may prefer a friendly human to start their wayfinding journey.
Digital interactive kiosks can supplement the human interaction, both at reception and at elevators or other transit areas. Layered screens in a kiosk enable additional information to be conveyed about an area. Maps and directories can be updated instantly if the medical design or doctor list changes. No more outdated information! Wayfinding technology can also be at your patients’ fingertips with smartphone integration, available from most suppliers.
Some digital wayfinding systems can even integrate with facilities management to guide maintenance people to a problematic room or machine.
Wayfinding cues in healthcare design
Colour coding was mentioned above in relation to signage. Employing colour coding throughout the medical fit-out provides even greater visual cues to improve patient flow.
Other visual cues in the healthcare design might include:
- Changes from hard sterile flooring to textured flooring
- Lighting changes from bright to soft
- Different ceiling heights
- Different types of furniture
Effortless patient flow through clever healthcare design
An effective medical fit-out with smooth patient flow includes signage, locating facilities close to the people who need them most and providing multiple entry/exit doors. The team at Evoke Projects has proven medical design and fit-out strategies that start with the flow of patients/procedures and end with best practice wayfinding.
Please call Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692 and let us help you find your way.