Over the last month we have talked about the elements of hospital wayfinding kiosks. Here at PatientWay we have found three elements to be of necessity to any wayfinding system, they include accessibility, simplicity and our final element:
Purposeful – What is a wayfinder kiosk system if its contents are not meaningful to a patient or visitor of the hospital? Our last two requirements must be:
- Credibility of a system and design layout incorporates appropriate context and reliable functions for the appropriate audience. Survey results should show users liked, used, and would use the wayfinder on another occasion.
- Usefulness of a system and design layout incorporates the capability of producing the desired and intended result effectively and in a timely matter. Landmarkings for some, written instructions to others, and a hybrid of both including verbal is sometimes needed.
We all take to navigating a hospital at our own stride and stress level. Make it easy and stress-free for the patients and visitors at your hospital or clinic.
We hope you enjoyed the Three Elements to Hospital Wayfinding Kiosks.
The three elements of wayfinding continued. Last week we discussed accessibility and highlighted our top three user satisfaction requirements: universal icons, intuitive design, and compliance with wheelchair accessibility standards. This week we will take a look at element two: Simple
Simple – When the function of the hospital wayfinding kiosk is clear to its audience, it is perceived and understood as:
• Easy to use: accessible buttons are prevalent and directions are given to the user as to not provide too much information to the user at one time. Effective communication is free of distracting and disruptive messaging.
• Consistent: context as well as flow of information remains constant throughout the users interaction with the computer. Context is key to providing the clearest and most useful information on a consistent level of understanding to users.
Hospital Wayfinding Kiosks are mainly for patients and visitors but staff are key users and promoters of a hospital’s wayfinding kiosk. High satisfaction rates of your frontline staff will encourage them to promote the use of the system.
Next week we will examine the third element of wayfinding: Purposeful
To summarize what we discussed last week, wayfinding is the art of using visual information to navigate and experience a new environment with reference to pathways, signage, landmarks and other visual cues.
Given clear, consistent cues, a patient-user should be able to navigate a hospital effortlessly. These cues should be Accessible, Simple and Purposeful, which are the three elements of wayfinding.
Element of Wayfinding #1: Accessible – We are all unique in our approach to problem solving; this should be reflected in an interactive wayfinding system. Multiple access point functions decrease frustration and increase adoption rates. Our top three user-satisfaction accessibility requirements:
- Universally interpreted symbols to break barriers of language and capability. A young child can understand a bathroom symbol as young as four years old.
- Intuitive design so that all users understand how to navigate every screen and back again to the main landing page.
- Compliance in consideration of patient-users whom have disabilities either visually or physically -large print and ADA compliance are essential.
Over the next month we will be talking about the elements of Wayfinding. First lets define wayfinding:
Wayfinding – The art of using spatial problem solving and environmental cues to navigate a building or environment.
Making the pathway for patients to navigate your hospital to their appointment as quickly and conveniently as possible is what successful wayfinding is all about. Think of your own time travelling to find an appointment. You want the most efficient path.
Here are the three steps in which a person analyzes a new environment:
First, you assess your environment and what you are viewing
Second, digest written and visual cues around you and,
Third, interpret the information you’ve observed and move ahead
Wayfinding in a typical modern hospital can be challenging as room and structural modifications over a period of years has forced hospitals to install temporary signage that costs time and money.
What solution can hospitals find to solve this costly problem?
Interactive wayfinding touchscreens, an evolving technology, are becoming widely utilized by hospitals and clinics.
In the next few blogs we will discuss how to improve the efficiency of your staff and increase user satisfaction by exploring the elements of wayfinding.
Frank Mayer and Associates have recently released their white paper “Self-Service in Healthcare” – available here from KioskMarketPlace.com
This paper shows readers the wearisome realities of the current state of the healthcare system. It suffers from “spiraling costs, burdensome paperwork and archaic procedures”. New patients are rarely treated as individuals and their entry into a hospital often involves 30 minutes in the waiting room “filling out a variety of forms related to insurance and medical history”.
Frank Mayer and Associates go on to explain that one of the most helpful performance (and immediate) improvements a hospital can make is a self-service kiosk. Kiosks can hugely help Hospital cost-saving requirements. They include their Best Design Practices for Self Service Hospital Kiosks:
1) ADA compliant – Wheelchair accessibility, as well as privacy and security
2) Simple interface – Many patients are elderly and benefit from a simple and easy to use interface without a lot of graphical distractions
3) Reliable software – You want your patients to have the best experience that is seamless and trouble free
PatientWay is dedicated to ensuring their best practices are featured in every kiosk we implement. If your hospital is looking for compliant designs we would like to urge you to contact PatientWay. We would love to work with you to help you create a seamless self-service information device for your patients.