We've talked about the top 5 mistakes of wayfinding in healthcare. How do you start the process in defining a successful program? Here are our top 5 suggestions.
1. Put together a complete wayfinding team.
This should include more than people representing facilities and clinical departments. It requires feedback and buy-in from administration, marketing, your designers and the community or patient representatives. Each facility is unique, so we use our experience to help our clients develop the appropriate team.
2. Set Goals.
These might include improved aesthetic for improved clarity and readability. Or consider a more comprehensive wayfinding system that provides visitors with wayfinding instructions starting from their home. Or, for those organizations in a competitive climate, improved graphic integration for an effective brand experience. The Wayfinding Team should be presented with a full set of wayfinding possibilities in order to set appropriate goals within an approved budget.
3. Map the destinations and patient journey.
Mapping the optimal patient journey should include more than walking through and marking up a plan. It needs to include the full understanding and analyzing of what currently does not work, where are the bottlenecks? Is it signage or is it an internal process? How would it be easier on a visitor? Be sure to include the facility Master Plan so the solutions are flexible and sustainable. When beginning a new project, start your wayfinding early in the process.
4. Identify current issues of patient confusion.
During analysis, it is important for your wayfinding vendor to listen. Analysis and development of solutions include listening to problems, analysis and thoughtful discussion of options. A vendor with a healthcare background can leverage experience to be sure you are not simply placing a patch over a critical operational issue.
5. Include environmental graphics, art and marketing initiatives.
You have spent a great deal of effort on interior finishes and look. Connect the dots of the patient's visual experience, it is important to consider your signage as part of the full visual package. This includes the colors, art, interior design and experiential graphics. Signs are a strong component of this visual system and provide a valuable opportunity to convey your brand.