New wayfinding system on the way

News / General
By Matthew Manor

It's one of the first things people notice when they step inside KGH for the first time -- this is not an easy hospital to find your way around. Chalk it up to the 14 interconnected buildings of different vintages, shapes and heights, not to mention the ongoing redevelopment project.

But some relief is on the way. The hospital is now working on the creation of a new comprehensive wayfinding system – aimed at helping people get from one end of KGH to the other seamlessly.

“There is a real science to creating an effective wayfinding system,” says Helen Simeon, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer. “It creates an environment that is welcoming, friendly, professional and easy to navigate.”

Recent studies on wayfinding have demonstrated it is a good investment for hospitals. It immediately increases productivity levels as helpful staff don't have to take so much time out of their jobs to point people in the right direction.

It also goes a long way to supporting patients and visitors.

“It promotes healing by reducing their feelings of stress, frustration and anxiety,” says Ted Darby, Vice President of Planning and Facilities. “It also helps them make their scheduled appointments on time.”

KGH recently issued a Request for Proposal for the project and is now reviewing the submissions from potential vendors. A partner will be chosen by the end of March so work can begin on a range of projects including new map directories, washroom signs, stair signs, department and room signs, wayfinding signs and exterior signs.

“The new system will build on the new signs we already have as part of redevelopment,” says Darby. “By the time its all done, we will have a consistent and attractive system that supports everyone who walks our halls.”