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his month, Children’s began implementing a new system of signage, maps and interactive kiosks to provide better customer service and help families navigate the hospital. The wayfinding project, as it is known, began with the installation of new directional signs on the ground, first and second floors. It will continue in phases over the next two years, and should be complete as the new Clinical Building expansion opens its doors in 2005.
The improved signage replaces a system that was over 15 years old. “The current system is a mish-mash of signs,” says Paula Quan, executive director of Corporate Real Estate. “It’s obsolete, sometimes hard to read, and so over-signed that even when the directions are right in front of you, they’re easy to miss.” The new system uses color-coding, incorporates international symbols and provides much greater consistency throughout the campus. It also provides definitive guidelines for the posting of any new signs.
One of the first and most obvious components of the project is the new, color-coded signage associating each clinical building with an icon: Moon (Main), Flower (Farley/Pavilion), Fish (Fegan), Hat (Hunnewell) and Boat (Bader). Although the new signage will first be installed on the lower levels, the system will eventually be used universally—right down to the signage for individual offices, conference rooms and clinical areas.
In July, a new hospital directory will be installed in place of the current volunteer desk at the top of the main lobby stairs, and by August, project planners hope to have a new, interactive kiosk up and running. The kiosk will operate in both English and Spanish, and will allow visitors to use a touch-screen interface to find any location in the hospital, plot a course from one appointment to another, and print out color maps and directions.
The integrated wayfinding system is the product of more than a year of planning by the Wayfinding Committee, which includes representatives from Facilities, Engineering, Environmental Services, Child Life, Public Affairs and other departments.—CM