Hospital Branding- Does Wayfinding Improve Patient Satisfaction?

Does Wayfinding Improve Patient Satisfaction?


These days, hospitals are concerned with the overall patient experience, especially patient satisfaction, as it relates to positive branding and marketing. Since patient feedback also affects levels of government reimbursement, patient satisfaction is a timely and important issue for healthcare marketing professionals to seriously consider. are seven ways hospitals can improve patient satisfaction by taking a closer look at their hospital signage:

1)Give your main entrance areas a quick check-up.  Are they visually inviting?  Do they include the word “Welcome”?  Do they effectively present your brand?  If traffic count is substantial at an entrance, is electronic messaging utilized as a valuable marketing tool? How’s the landscaping?  Does the entrance help make the hospital be a community icon?  Can people get a good sense of direction upon entering to easily find their way to important areas like parking, the ER, the main hospital and outpatient areas?

2)Take a good look at your exterior wayfinding system.  Is it doing its job in directing patients, visitors, staff and vendors?  Every day many people visit a hospital campus for the very first time.  If they have a pleasant experience, they tend to leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling.  A big part of the overall experience and patient satisfaction is being able to comfortably find the way around. Does the current directional sign system have a common theme?  Are there campus maps that help folks get to their destinations with ease? Are there standard sign types, or is the campus a hodge-podge of different sign designs?  Are the directions current?  Are the standard traffic and parking signs tied in with the rest of the system for a unified look?  Are the graphics visible to people of all ages, with adequate letter heights and color combinations?  Do the signs reflect and promote the brand?  Are the signs effective in directing traffic both by day and night?

3)Consider the interior wayfinding system as well.  Does it tie into the overall campus wayfinding system?  Does it
effectively brand the hospital?  Is it ADA compliant?  Are there maps and directories at the entrances and at each floor
landing area to help guide people around the facility?

4)Are Parking Garage and Parking Lot Signage doing their job to get people where they need to be?  One of the biggest patient satisfaction complaints in visits to airports, hospitals, shopping malls, etc. is people not being able to find their vehicles when they
leave.  This is especially important for healthcare facilities serving an aging demographic.  Check to see if lot signs make
sense and are clear, concise, and visible.  Is there adequate direction to the main areas as people leave the lots for their

5)What type of branding is displayed on the main tower?
  Make sure the main building is well-branded as you use your resources to develop an overall campus branding
statement.  What better place to hang a logo sign with a meaningful tagline than on an elevated place for the entire
surrounding area to see and become comfortable with?  Make sure this main branding is highlighted 24 hours a day.

6)When promoting a new physician, a new service, or new community partnership, do you use the entrance signage as a backdrop for photos?  Using the entrance branding helps the public identify the hospital as a positive destination.  Another reason why strong efforts should be made to keep the entrance an inviting community icon.

7)Do you regularly audit your facility’s parking lot lighting and signage to make sure patients, visitors and staff are
safe, able to find their way around, and always have a great feeling about your brand?  
Good advice for a brand-conscious marketer wanting to maximize the overall patient experience!

-Mark Hackley is an account executive with Holiday Signs of Richmond, Virginia.