Hospital wayfinding is a serious customer and patient relations issue for hospitals and medical facilities. Why? Because patients and visitors, inside and outside the facility, are usually in a heightened state of anxiety and are thus worried about finding their way to their intended destination.
For first time visitors and patients, this heightened state of anxiety is multiplied.
The frustration that comes from getting lost is ranked among the top complaints by visitors to healthcare facilities. Studies have shown that if visitors do not have direction- or reassurance of their direction- every 30 feet while traveling through a facility, they will likely stop and ask an employee for directions. Thus, effective hospital wayfinding solutions are crucial to keeping a hospital staff focused, productive, and free from interruptions.
What is hospital wayfinding?
Hospital wayfinding solutions are designed to guide individuals from one space to another as efficiently as possible. In the case of a hospital system, this means helping patients and visitors get from one area of a hospital building to another (e.g. the cafeteria to the gift shop) or from different buildings spread over a larger hospital campus. A wayfinding system is meant to familiarize users with their surroundings with the goal of making subsequent visits easier.
Why Mapsted’s wayfinding is important for hospitals
Hospitals are notoriously busy places that see heavy foot traffic on a daily basis. Effective healthcare wayfinding systems are excellent tools to keep hospitals running smoothly by allowing patients and visitors to easily navigate their environment on their own during what is often a stressful time.
Ultimately, wayfinding can provide these benefits for hospitals:
- Save time
Time is a limited resource for everyone, but it is an especially crucial aspect of hospital operations, especially when a few minutes can mean the difference between life or death. Hospital directional signage, that is properly located along with Mapsted’s hardware-free indoor wayfinding system ensures that users always know exactly where they need to go and how to get there, helping them to stay calm.
- Help keep patient stress to a minimum
Mapsteds innovative wayfinding solutions are intuitive enough for the vast majority of individuals to easily use. So easy to use that people tend to forget about traditional hospital wayfinding signage.
In the case of hospital buildings or campuses, this makes it easier on patients and visitors as they are less likely to end up frustrated while trying to figure out where they need to be. A properly executed digital wayfinding hospital ensures that users always know exactly where they need to go and how to get there, helping them to stay calm.
- Decrease workload for staff
Hospital digital signage, along with wayfinding, allows visits to get where they need to be without requiring assistance. This frees up staff for more urgent tasks. As stated earlier, having proper hospital wayfinding also keeps patients calm, making it easier and less stressful for the hospital staff to do their job effectively
Mapsted’s digital information kiosks
Digital information kiosks can benefit hospitals in two ways: they can provide digital maps to assist with wayfinding and also help provide more in-depth information about the hospital facility itself. Our directory kiosks are another digital hospital wayfinding tool. These kiosks can help to locate specific rooms, services, departments, or individuals.
Physical and digital signage
Along with digital information kiosks, hospital digital signage also plays a crucial part in hospital wayfinding. Both can be used to display hospital information, as well as assist patients and visitors in distinguishing between the many different buildings, areas and departments of a hospital campus. Another example of how hospitals employ digital signage is via waiting room boards which inform patients when their turn to be called back is coming up. These are especially common in urgent care and emergency room environments.
Mobile wayfinding technology
Healthcare wayfinding signage and digital information kiosks aren’t the only methods of hospital wayfinding.
Mobile apps, such as Mapsted’s indoor-outdoor hospital navigation app, have become popular enough that some larger hospital systems are adopting mobile technology to help user navigate their facilities. Mapsted’s hardware-free hospital navigation app is customized in order to provide detailed layouts of the hospital campus and even surrounding areas. The app even comes with real-time hospital navigation. This helps ensure visitors are able to locate any department or employee without having to endure the frustration and stress of becoming lost, all while simply using their cellphone.
As digital hospital wayfinding continues to grow in popularity, more hospitals are adopting this technology. When utilized along with proper wayfinding design, hospitals will become much easier places to navigate, increasing patient and guest satisfaction via a more positive end-user experience.