Getting From Point A to Point B: The Impact of Signage

Posted on Jun 6, 2013

Chances are, like most of us, you’ve run into one or more of these scenarios: you’re on your way to a doctor’s appointment at a hospital, or a business meeting in an unfamiliar office building, or even a class at a university – and you can’t find your way. You forgot to bring your directions that were given to you when you first made the appointment. The campus or office park directory didn’t quite explain how to reach your destination. So you rely on signs and landmarks to find your way. In today’s fast paced world, finding one’s way with proper signage can have a significant impact in a number of ways.


Branding and Perception

Poor signage can dilute your organization’s brand. Do customers consider your brand innovative and current compared to your competition, or could your image use a bit of a facelift? The implementation of well-placed signage and positive customer experiences can reinforce your brand and image.


Patient Satisfaction

In hospital environments, patient satisfaction scores and quality of care can be impacted by superior or inferior signage. The design and flow, and ease of navigating the hospital environment can impact patient perception of care as measured by HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) – an instrument that monitors patient perceptions of care and publicly reports hospital performance, which is the quality of care as perceived by patients.


Bottom-line Results

Are customers, clients, students and patients likely to recommend your organization, its products and its services to others?  A positive experience may make more of a difference than you think, especially in a healthcare environment.  In a recent study, NCR Corporation noted that, “By providing a positive patient experience, healthcare providers can build loyalty among existing patients while attracting new ones, resulting in increased patient volume.” And in the future, Medicare funding may be tied to the quality that a healthcare organization delivers, as measured by patient satisfaction scores, directly impacting the bottom line. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so make it count.


Lost Resources

As the old adage goes, “time is money, and once you lose it you can’t get it back”.  The cost of confusion that results from poor signage can have an indirect impact on your organization in many ways, such as service delays, late or missed appointments or time taken by your employees to redirect those who need to find their way within your buildings or campus.


Whatever the scenario, organizations across industries can benefit from best practices in wayfinding and signage, including: standardization, consistent look and feel, proper placement, accuracy and adherence to industry guidelines.


Has your organization been affected by poor signage? What was the impact?


Lanette Duggan, a veteran of the healthcare equipment and facilities industry, is Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Sign System Solutions. Contact Lanette at

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