Route maps for Health Care

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Have you ever found yourself lost in a hospital?  Have you ever gone into one entrance only to realize you should be at a completely different entrance in a building around the corner?

This happens every day in hospitals all over the world. When we are in acute situations we tend to not have the same attention to detail as we might in a more relaxed state.  This makes getting around so much more frustrating than we would like.  As hospitals grow over time they expand in ways that make finding our way challenging. 

While we have become one with our technology - in acute situations we find it more comforting to talk to someone, a real live human being! With that we are often given detailed directions verbally and find ourselves lost two turns into what we were told. 

For this we suggest a route map - a small handout that can be given to the patient showing a clear path to their destination. 

Singage throwback

Bader Rutter engaged with our team to create signage and wayfinding elements that would compliment their new office space. The building, situated along the Milwaukee River, is a unique mix of new construction merged with an old complex of buildings.  One of the buildings housed a camping store until 2013 and was originally built in 1874 by the Northwestern Furniture Company. 

The showpiece upon entering their lobby is the 8 foot logo constructed by layering aluminum rod carefully formed to the curved design of their brand. 

We created room signage and wayfinding elements with authentic materials that would be timeless, refined with an industrial slant - using mixed milk glass, oxidized steel and hand lettering throughout the space. 

Wayfinding for HealthCare


People at Health Care facilities are experiencing some of the most emotional moments of their lives. Patients are under stress. Family and friends are preoccupied with thoughts of their loved ones. Care providers are always pressed for time. If anyone has trouble finding where they’re going, the consequences can be dire.

In an environment where seconds count, effective wayfinding systems help everyone get where they need to go. Contrary to conventional assumptions, wayfinding is not simply a matter of putting up more signage. A proper multidisciplinary approach incorporates architecture, design, technology, and human psychology. The facility’s layout and the specific needs of diverse populations also need to be taken into account. As a result, effective wayfinding for the health care environment does more with less. It feels natural to everyone who visits the facility.

First and foremost, the goal in a health care facility should be to enhance the experience of both patients and guests. Ideally, this should start before they even visit the facility. Include an interactive map of the facility with online resources, and make sure staff clearly communicates the location of the appointment to the patient. Some health care facilities are even creating smartphone applications with maps and other important information.

Furthermore, the wayfinding system must feel intuitive to the staff. This enables them to give clear directions to patients and visitors, and maximizes their own efficiency on the job. Clear landmarking and trailblazing is also vital, so caregivers can rapidly respond to emergency situations.

Effective wayfinding for the health care environment helps everyone. Patients and visitors feel more confident, which enhances their wellness and increases the chance of a positive referral. Care providers and staff are able to move effectively around the facility to perform their vital duties. All told, the entire health care organization benefits from optimal efficiency and patient satisfaction.

When you’re looking for exceptional design systems in the Health Care environment, Forcade Associates will help you find the way. Our wayfinding systems are recognized for effectiveness and innovation. In fact, Forcade Associates is working on the first wayfinding smartphone application designed for a Health Care facility.