WAYFINDING & WRONG TURNS

Years ago my husband and I were on a weekend trip to Kansas City.  We were trying to find the restaurant we wanted to eat at but something went wrong.

This was the time before GPS.  The days when you relied on your internal GPS and general know how to get around.  We kept taking turns and trying to figure things out until we ended up somewhere we didn’t want to be.  Bars on windows, dark street corners… I’m pretty sure you can picture it.  Luckily one right turn took us to a busy road and we found our way.

I am sure you have also experienced that lost and confused feeling in health and wellness spaces.  It can be unnerving in an ordinary situation and memory impairment can make it frightening.

Wayfinding is a serious relations issue for the healthcare environment and not just in large hospitals and medical facilities but in mid-sized clinics and skilled-care facilities.

There are three basic ways to address wayfinding within your healing space.

  • Offer cognitive mapping such as signage and maps
  • Offer verbal communication or personal interaction and guidance
  • Offer visual cues such as landmarks and differentiating features

One of the easiest ways to implement wayfinding aside from signs is with art.

When art and sculpture are deliberately planned to provide meaningful landmarks it creates a memory and familiarity within the environment.  Selection of art for healing shouldn’t be done haphazardly because in order for it to spark a memory it has to create an impression.  It should relate to the client, patient, or resident and be distinctively memorable so that it creates a tie and tells a unique story of association.  Aside from wayfinding art should also offer peace and calming to the mind, bod, and soul in order to assist in further healing and regeneration.

Wayfinding should not be an afterthought.  It should be clear, simple and consistent.  If all else fails one of your best assets is a welcoming and personable receptionist that will offer the best hospitality.

Wayfinding done right not only promotes physical health but also fiscal health.

In today’s competitive economy vying for healthcare dollars, it is more important than ever that providers consider the image that are portraying to the outside world.  Does your atmosphere reduce stress and frustration that is often associated with healthcare?  Does your environment offer safety and security through a confidently traveled path?  Trust is gained by familiarity and relationship.

Are you ready to put your best foot forward?  Need help getting started?  I’d love to help you increase your bottom line.  Book a complimentary phone consultation today.  I’d love to chat about your healing space and how my evidence-based interior design solutions can help you.

Grace and Peace,

Rhea

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