The Power of Design: Hospitals

I’ve seen the inside of many hospitals. My mom was a nurse at various hospitals for 40 years. In our family, I was the kid with the most emergency room visits. I’ve broken both collarbones, a wrist, and a toe, undergone a couple of surgeries, and survived a few serious illnesses. I’ve also been caretaker for two chronically and severely ill family members.

One thing that’s been universally true about hospitals: they are labyrinths. Floor plans have no unifying logic, signage is inadequate and jargony, and bland interior decoration is disorienting. Navigation is hard enough when you’re healthy. Illness just compounds the frustration.

A recent Wall St. Journal article gives some hope that hospitals are turning to design to help people find their way around. Hospitals around the country are installing interactive kiosks, create smartphone apps, erecting artistic landmarks, and mounting large external signage.

If your next visit to the hospital feels more like a trip to the shopping mall, you’re not hallucinating. As one executive quoted in the article says, “People can always find the Gap but it’s not that easy to find Radiology.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top