Is Wayfinding the Key to Simplifying Complex Healthcare Environments?

By Kurt Johnson Photography • August 20, 2019

orange yellow flower canvas wall art midwest photography healthcare installation lexington regional health center NE

Hospitals and healthcare treatment centers are specializing in increasingly diverse areas of medicine.  As a result, the facilities themselves can be a confusing and overwhelming maze for patients.  One important way to lessen confusion for patients navigating through these buildings is wayfinding. 

Wayfinding is a way of guiding people through a physical environment and enhancing their understanding and experience of the space (The Society for Experiential Graphic Design).  An easy and effective way of doing this is through the use of recognizable imagery, themes and color. 

Healthcare wayfinding installation at Lexington Regional Health Center in Lexington, NE. Images by Kurt Johnson Photography

Using color in memory care facilities is an effective way of helping patients quickly distinguish different areas of the building.  For example, a dementia patient can easily recognize the yellow living area that is adorned with images of yellow flowers.  The color becomes a comforting and repetitive visual that is easily understandable when defining different sections within the space. This technique is an effective way of helping patients reach their destinations with limited stress and confusion in hospitals and other healthcare environments.

Examples of yellow floral images that can be used in healthcare environments for the purpose of wayfinding. Images by Kurt Johnson Photography.

This same concept of wayfinding can be applied to healthcare environments using specific themes and imagery.  A corridor of vibrant flower images can lead the way to a maternity suite or images of non-threatening wildlife such as horses and butterflies can lead patients to a particular area dedicated to treating children.  At Kurt Johnson Photography, we have an extensive catalog of images to accommodate various themes and endless color palettes to create beautiful, comforting and effective images that are perfect for helping patients navigate complex healthcare spaces.

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