Whether visiting as a patient or to spend time with a loved one who is undergoing treatment, a person arriving at a hospital may be feeling distracted, confused or upset. In some cases, someone may be experiencing a life-threatening emergency, and any delay in treatment could have dire consequences. Other times, a visitor may become disoriented when navigating a maze of similar-looking corridors. For all of these reasons, it is absolutely vital that the hospital signage you choose be informative, clear, and easy to read.
Choose monument signs that are large enough to be seen from the road, well-lit, and written in concise language. Consider using red lettering to designate the right way to the emergency room. Use equally attention-grabbing signage to point out where ambulances are to park, so that others do not block these entrances. Large hospital signs pointing to entrances are important, as are clear directional signs used to instruct patients, doctors and others where to park.
Once inside the walls of the hospital, your patients and visitors need easy-to-read interior hospital signs pointing them in the right direction. A large directory detailing which departments can be found on each wing or floor is helpful. Once clients leave the main lobby, provide more signs with arrows pointing out what can be found by turning left or right. Nothing is more confusing to a frightened patient or concerned family member than having the series of signs suddenly end, leaving them to face a row of doors or a blank wall.
Another important aspect of hospital signage is to provide visitors with information that they may need once they get where they need to be. For example, “no smoking” signs are appropriate in all sections of the hospital. “Oxygen in use” signs are also helpful, as are signs indicating that caution is necessary for patients with pacemakers. If there are “cell phone free” regions in your hospital, designate them by hanging clearly-written signs hung at eye level. Use signs pointing out rest rooms in each department, as well as signs on reception desks asking patients or visitors to check in as your hospital policy requires. A sign in the emergency room letting patients know that people will be seen in the order that their conditions require and not in the order in which they arrive may help field a question common to waiting rooms.
Talk to your sign professional about other ways you can help your patients and visitors with well-thought-out and easy to read hospital signs. During what may be a stressful and scary time in your patients’ lives, convenient signs with clear directions will be appreciated.