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Sprucing Up Your Healthcare Signage

OCTOBER 27, 2020| SpeedPro East Bay

Visiting a healthcare facility can be a stressful experience. Whether it’s an emergency or a routine visit, patients should find the environment as stress-free as possible. Each time someone visits your location, it creates a new opportunity for them to come back the next time they need medical care. The only way to make this happen is by making a great, big impression.

One of the simplest ways that you can help to influence this decision is through signage. It may seem trivial but wayfinding signage, promotional signage advertising flu shots, or informational signage, it can all help to make their visit a little better. Here are some of the most common ways that you’ll see signage used in healthcare facilities and how you can spruce yours up.

HOW TO USE HEALTHCARE SIGNAGE

When it comes to healthcare signage, it can be overwhelming as far as deciding what you need. Below you’ll find 5 different ways that you can use healthcare signage to not only liven up your interior but also create an overall better atmosphere.

1. ADVERTISING

The only way to truly get noticed nowadays is by advertising. Graphics at the forefront of your location gives you the opportunity to not only promote your brand and services but also highlight your accomplishments and any accolades. Window graphics are the perfect opportunity for this. You can use full window blockouts for privacy, or perforated window graphics to allow people to see out but others can’t see inside.

You can also advertise temporary promotions like flu shots, vaccines, or in today’s world, COVID testing. People can get these types of things anywhere so you want to make it clear to them that you’re offering these services. You can do this by incorporating outdoor flags to not only increase visibility but also to help direct people when they arrive.

When moving to interior advertising, utilize the space that you have. Wall murals and digital signage can be a creative way to promote your hospital’s rich history. Show your patients that they can rely on and trust your health services because you’re the experts. To add even more flair, consider elevator wraps to share information like a mobile app where they can find all of their healthcare data. This is a location where everyone will see and it’s so different that it’s sure to capture attention.

Take your advertising to the streets by putting graphics on your medical vehicles. When on the road, you’re gaining exposure with every car that you pass by.

2. AMBIANCE

As we’ve mentioned, hospitals are not fun places to be. It’s usually an unhappy situation that has brought you here so it’s already an unpleasant experience prior to walking through the door. If the design is done poorly, this can create even more stress in patients and add to the overall negativity. The patient is already in the hospital for one reason, they don’t need another reason to have to stay longer because they’re too stressed.

The environment does not only affect the patients but it also affects the healthcare workers. They are already dealing with the stressors of their job, especially during this pandemic so creating a more calming ambiance is important. But how can signage and graphics improve people’s moods and reduce stress? Well, there are several ways. For starters, it shows that you care about the well-being of the staff and patients. Incorporating vibrant color and bold graphics can be a nice change of pace from the standard dreary white and cold walls. Adding artwork that mentally takes people out of the hospital environment can help to calm them.

Lighting is another important factor. Creating an open and airy environment with lots of light and preferably natural light will help to brighten patients’ moods. With natural light, outdoor views can also be beneficial. For example, Kaiser hospital in Downtown Oakland has some great views of San Francisco on the higher floors. It’s definitely a way to help people heal faster according to studies.

All of these factors can help people feel more at peace and less like they are in a stressful environment. Because kids tend to be more sensitive to their environments, hospitals can be a very scary place for them. Adding more positive environments like wall murals can be especially beneficial. For example, at UCSF Children’s Hospital in Oakland, we installed 80 wall murals in 80 different exam rooms with artwork done by children. This way, when children are present in the exam room, it feels more comfortable and childlike rather than daunting.

3. BRANDING

Branding and brand recognition are very similar to advertising but this is more so focused on promoting you as a hospital. The main things that you’ll want to promote are the values and mission of your hospital. This is where you can achieve full trust among your patients and staff. Has your practice won any awards? Maybe your top tier doctors have hit some medical milestones that you want to highlight. Or, shed light on the history of the hospital with a wall mural that contains a timeline showing the journey.

You can also emphasize these traits by using signage such as plaques and wall graphics. Or, banners and flags can be used outdoors to show potential patients who you are and where to go when they need care.

4. WARNINGS

Hospitals can be very dangerous places with all of the medical equipment required. Any areas that are staff only need to be clearly marked with no entry signage as well as employee only information. Warnings and restrictions are also necessary anywhere where there is a chance of radiation exposure such as x-ray rooms.

Having noticeable signage not only helps to keep visitors and staff safe but it also ensures that you’re doing your job to keep everyone healthy. These warning signs should also be put up with staff in mind. The more clearly communicated signage you have, the less likely there will be for human error to occur. For example, marking all biohazardous and soiled items containers.

5. WAYFINDING

Hospitals can be very difficult to navigate through as they’re so large. When people are having an emergency and in a hurry, the last thing they want to do is try to figure out the puzzle of where to go. Hallways, exits, entrances, and rooms, should all be clear and easy to read as well as located in obvious places. You can still be creative with these signs, but the most important part is to ensure they’re in a location where eyes can see them easily.

HEALTHCARE SIGNAGE OPTIONS

As we’ve mentioned, there are lots of healthcare signage options. So when you’re presented with this list, how will you know what you need? Well, here’s a list of signage options that go into better detail on what it is and how to use it that will hopefully help make this decision easier.

  • Architectural and glass finishes: Glass finishes help to create a high-end look to your interior or exterior. For offices and exam rooms, we can cover the windows with etched films to offer privacy. It also helps to add a decorative accent rather than just frosting your windows. If you want to incorporate it into your outdoor signage, it can add an attractive look
  • Custom wall murals: Spruce up your space with custom wall murals that are sure to liven up the environment. Take people out of the exam room for a moment with images of beaches or forest landscapes that create a serene feel. In children’s rooms, use cartoon characters or bright colors that help them feel at ease. If you want to really make it fun, consider coloring wall murals in the lobby where people can color directly on the wall!

  • Digital signage: Things change so rapidly nowadays especially during this pandemic. Because of this, digital signage can be one of the easiest and more affordable ways to keep up to date with everything. Help to keep patients and visitors in the know with wait times, room numbers, and other information with digital signage. It’s easy to program as soon as something changes. It can also be used for the cafeteria to display the menu.
  • Elevator wraps: Hospital elevators see numerous riders every day. Take advantage of this by using the elevator doors and interiors as a way to advertise what you have to offer. Or, be creative and use this as a fun way to add to your decor.
  • Event graphicsLet people know what’s coming up. From blood drives to testing sites and screenings, it’s important for people to know this. You can place banners on the exterior of your building or add wall graphics to promote your upcoming events.
  • Wayfinding signage: As we mentioned, directing people is super important when it comes to your healthcare signage. Clearly label the rooms as well as use directional signage that points to the reception area, restrooms, exits, and entrances. This is basic signage that every medical healthcare practice will need.
  • Window graphics: Think of windows as your first impression. People will see your windows before even entering, so make a great impression with your windows. For window graphics, you can either do a full window blockout and provide important information to the public, or you can do spot cut vinyl graphics. This will contain the most important information such as your name, logo, and phone number.

Exterior signage options will include:

  • Banners and flags: Outdoor banners can help to promote any upcoming events or test screenings. You can also line your entrance with outdoor flags to create a warm welcome and also help people know where they’re going.
  • Directional signage: Because hospitals and healthcare offices can be fairly large, finding parking and entrances can be tricky. In order to avoid this, include signage directing to parking, elevators, stairs, and entrances.
  • Vehicle graphics: If your company has special emergency service vehicles or transportation, include graphics on those to advertise everywhere you go.

TAKEAWAY TIPS

Now, after learning the many different options for indoor and outdoor healthcare signage, it can still be overwhelming. Here are a few things to bring it all together and remember when it comes to creating your signage.

  • ADA compliance: Your visitors should be able to clearly and legibly read your signs. Being ADA compliant is important not only for people’s safety but also to inform them. You’ll need to think about the colors you use as well as fonts, placement, images, and braille additions. There are so many rules and regulations to follow so if you get confused, check out the ADA requirements.
  • Staff is key: Just like in any work environment, the staff should be valued. Enhance your culture with graphics that inspire and motivate. When patients see you treating your staff well, it shows them that you’ll treat them just as well if not better. The building of that trust in this kind of environment is essential.
  • Values are important: When it comes to advertising, you’ll need to identify your values first. You’ll want everything you do to reflect your values and reinforce your branding. Whether it’s your colors, logos, or images.

PARTNERING WITH SPEEDPRO EAST BAY

SpeedPro East Bay has been working with healthcare facilities for years to improve its aesthetics. From upgrading exam rooms to installing custom wall murals in lobbies. We’ve also incorporated branding in lobbies as well as wrapped emergency vehicles. Signage may not be the initial thing that you focus on when thinking about your healthcare practice. However, it does play a crucial role in your success. Making the visit more pleasant and enjoyable for patients will go a long way.

We can help you come up with the most effective signage strategy that will work for you and your space. To get started on your next project with SpeedPro East Bay give us a call at 510.974.7369 or contact us here.

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SpeedPro East Bay

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Ed Owens

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