You Are Here: Wayfinding App Improves Hospital Navigation

April 3, 2019

// By Althea Fung //

Althea FungIn 2015, The Jewish Hospital — Mercy Health, a 184-bed acute-care facility in Cincinnati, was in the midst of a massive expansion project when a problem arose.

“We were almost doubling the size of the hospital. During construction, we had to close our main entrance. So we had all of these altered routes of traffic. It was an ongoing challenge just to get someone from one side of the building to the other,” recalls Craig Schmidt, vice president and COO of The Jewish Hospital.

Craig Schmidt, vice president and COO, The Jewish Hospital — Mercy Health

Craig Schmidt, vice president and COO, The Jewish Hospital — Mercy Health

To help shepherd patients and visitors from around the hospital, Schmidt hired ambassadors to escort people to their destination. But additional logistical issues made navigating the facility hard for visitors and staff.

Schmidt, who had heard about the burgeoning field of “indoor positioning systems” (IPS) used to pinpoint locations inside a building using sensory information, began looking into wayfinding systems that can help patients, visitors, and staff better navigate the facility during and after the construction project.

Getting lost in a hospital isn’t an uncommon experience. A report from 22Miles, a digital signage software company, found more than 30 percent of first-time visitors expressed confusion in finding locations within a hospital campus. The same report found 25 percent of staff members could not find some destinations within their own campuses. To combat this issue, more organizations are turning to wayfinding apps to navigate consumers from their home to the specific locations within the hospital.

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