This was fascinating project for us, reviewing wayfinding and signage across Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and writing this comprehensive report.
Many people find hospitals difficult to navigate having to contend with a maze of identical corridors within constantly changing buildings, and trying to understand confusing terminology and acronyms.
Whilst good wayfinding is not critical to a hospital’s outcomes – few patients die from getting lost or being late for their appointments – it still has a significant effect on patients’ experiences. It causes stress, anxiety and frustration and is a recurring topic in complaints.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals runs five hospitals plus five community facilities – these are mostly large, complex buildings, and can be difficult for patients, visitors and staff to navigate. Much of the wayfinding at STH is effective, being well thought out and competently implemented, but some areas suffer from outdated and inadequate signage, and this presents major challenges to users.
This document offers some background to the principles of wayfinding, as well as giving an overview of the current situation at the Trust’s sites. It offers suggestions for future strategy and makes recommendations for action.