Poor Signage is Impacting Your Patient Experience
Decrease anxiety, reduce frustration with a clear wayfinding strategy
By Arundi Venkayya
Curator of EngagingPatients.org
Creating a welcoming environment for patients as they enter your facility — by incorporating calming elements like soft music and lighting — can soothe patients’ anxiety and make them feel less stressed.
Visiting a hospital can be a stressful situation to begin with, and this stress is amplified when patients, families and visitors get lost. Making sure all visitors can navigate your health system is a critical component of patient satisfaction. The more difficult it is for patients and families to find where they are going, the more frustrated they tend to get.
Did you know? According to the Wall Street Journal and Convergent:
- 30 percent of first-time visitors get confused and/or lost when visiting the hospital;
- 25 percent of hospital staff can’t find their way around their own facility; and
- it takes an average of three minutes of staff time to direct each lost visitor.
Many healthcare facilities have embraced the need to improve wayfinding in their facilities. Assigning specific furnishings, color schemes and/or design elements married with traditional signage can help. Floor stickers, wall-mounted maps and directories are key directional elements in every healthcare organization. Digital wayfinding via smartphone apps is also helping visitors navigate complex medical facilities.
Additionally, some healthcare organizations have increased the number of volunteers or staff they have available to help patients, families and visitors figure out where they are going. These ambassadors greet patients, families and visitors and walk them to their destinations. They also often provide facility maps to help patients navigate from clinic to cafeteria or back to the exit.
Lost patients and families come at a cost — their frustration equals lower patient satisfaction scores, resulting in lower reimbursement rates and lost staff time.
A clear wayfinding strategy can cut frustration and boost HCAHPS scores. Learn more in our e-guide to creating a clear wayfinding strategy.