With the distinct display of blue and white, NHS signage, brand consistency has come a long way in helping guide visitors, patients, and staff.

Having this colour distinction has helped your community in locating your facilities but it is not the only aspect that needs consideration. In serving a broad spectrum of individuals, with a variety of needs, one needs to consider how your signage is viewed and perceived.

Creating the aesthetics of your signage is simple enough, as with most large organisations, you follow guidelines. An essential consideration should be of people with a disability, impairment, or sensory loss. This would include text size, colour contrast, inclusion of braille, symbols, images, and even integrated audio recordings.

As a busy site you need to look at patient flow, staff requirements, and any recent or upcoming renovations to the hospital and how it will affect your visitors. Factors that affect your visitors experience include confusion in reading signage instructions, stress in not being able to navigate to their destination quickly, poor signage resulting in frustration.

One of the easiest ways to determine how effective your signage is, is to provide your patients, visitors, and staff alike with a questionnaire. With this you can assess their understanding of your signage, how clear the guidance is and any gaps or issues your signage presents. Once you have obtained this feedback you can quickly adjust and greatly improve your visitor’s experience. It is important that once the changes are incorporated a second round of questionnaires be completed to assess the improvement level.

It is vital to involve frontline staff when improving your site signage, they can quickly identify bottlenecks and advise viable solutions. By involving field experts in the process, you optimise results and guarantee a patient satisfaction outcome. When gathering patient advice, you can use multiple methods including surveys, polls, individual discussions, focus groups or a physical walkthrough with a patient. By evaluating patient and staff perspectives you can implement effective solutions to your signage challenges.

Signage can assist with many factors including staff service and registration processes affecting waiting times. If your facility has implemented a patient numbering system to queue, then signage instructions can ensure this system is utilised properly. With clear and easy to follow signage patient stress reduces resulting in staff being treated more fairly and satisfaction all-round being improved. The amount of information shared with patients in a hospital-setting tends to be overwhelming, so signage should be concise. Consider removing multiple distracting signs, reduce visual clutter, and amalgamated information into a single, clear, large, easily visible sign.

Everyone understands that even if they have a scheduled appointment, there can be variations in the time they are seen due to, patients arriving at different times, appointments running over and emergencies needing to be seen as a priority.

Plan your signage to streamline patient flows, be patient-centered, and prioritise scheduling. Patient-friendly signage increases satisfaction and contributes to a positive experience. Confusing signs lead to increased stress, physical discomfort, and dissatisfaction with the healthcare system. Difficulty in navigating the hospital adds to anxiety resulting in increased staff burden.

There is a lot more to signage than simply the message. Effective signage should be recognisable, clearly visible and inform visitors on where they are as well as next steps.

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