Healthcare Design - March 2018 - 9
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
The work healthcare designers do to support
wayfinding paves the way for ongoing operational
efforts By Jennifer Kovacs Silvis
ADVENTIST CARE CENTERS
EARL S WENSSON ASSOCIATES
Sheila F. Cahnman
JUMPG ARDEN CONSULTING LLC
Thomas W. Chessum
SHORTLY AFTER joining Healthcare Design in 2010,
I was introduced to the concept of wayfinding.
When I heard designers talk about solutions that
ease navigation for patients and visitors, I immediately understood on a personal level the type
of anxiety they were trying to diminish. After all,
haven't we all become miserably lost trying to leave
the hospital after meeting a newborn nephew?
That may just be me, but there are thousands of
similar stories out there.
I've learned over the years that wayfinding is a
constant challenge, whether in a new, existing, renovated, or expanded space.
There isn't a project we profile in these pages that doesn't touch on wayfinding in some regard. Think intuitive architecture that guides building users
in the right direction, interior design that establishes departmental colorcoding and landmarks, or branding approaches that institute standards for
signage and graphics. Wayfinding is in the fabric of all healthcare projects.
So it was interesting for me to take part in a research project last year that
investigated how wayfinding systems were managed over time, beyond the
stages we traditionally cover. I was part of an advisory team that assisted researcher Leslie Wolke, founder of MapWell Studio, as she conducted the
project for the Sign Research Foundation. The goal was to identify healthcare organizations that are getting wayfinding right, glean best practices from
them, and share those with the industry.
The resulting report "Wayfinding Management: Models & Methods in
Healthcare Environments" (www.signresearch.org/healthcarewayfinding)
offers case studies of methods employed at institutions such as Cleveland
Clinic, UCSF Medical Center, and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Solutions
identified by Wolke include designating a wayfinding manager who maintains the system and collaborates closely with construction colleagues to
streamline new projects, investing in formalized standards across locations,
and conducting visitor research that evaluates the effectiveness of strategies
Although highly operational in nature, the report doesn't lose sight of the
role design plays, too. What you all do creates the support system for effective
wayfinding programs, and your guidance, knowledge, and continued involvement are critical to making sure that system doesn't collapse.
For more on how to do that, I have a good place to start. This year we
launched a new monthly feature at HCDmagazine.com that explores hot topics in healthcare design by providing links to recent coverage, helping readers
quickly get up to speed on issues and trends. Last month's topic: wayfinding.
Visit HCDmagazine.com/online-focus-wayfinding to dig in, and remember
the critical role you play in helping people find their way.
Christine Hester Devens
Jocelyn Lum Frederick
H C TANG RAM DESIGN
Catherine L. Gow
F RANCIS CAUFFMAN
Natalie Miovski Hagerty
THE CHILDRE N'S HOS PITAL OF PHILADELPHIA
Suzen L. Heeley
MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER
J AIN MALKIN INC.
ADVOCATE HEALTH CARE
Diane R.K. Osan
Chris Powers HCA
G BBN ARCHITECTS
S KANSKA USA BUILDING
Pamela H. Redden
William D. Repichowskyj
TLC ENGINEERING FOR ARCHITECTURE
Janet H. Sisolak
UT MD ANDERS ON CANCER CENTER
Karl R. Sonnenberg
ZIMMER GUNS UL F RASCA ARCHITECTS LLP
Steve Stokes CALLISONRTKL
Jeffrey C. Stouffer
Paul E. Strohm
Joshua A. Theodore
LEO A DALY
Roger S. Ulrich
CHALMERS UNIVERS ITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Gary L. Vance