Lights, colours and pictograms will

 guide you inside Middelfart Hospital

Design School Kolding har worked out a number of recommendations. On Wednesday 28 May they will be presented to the hospital staff and management.

Middelfart Hospital is one of the smallest hospitals in Denmark and still, it is hard to find your way around. The hospital wants to change this, which is why the management has asked Design School Kolding to look at the wayfinding issues. Oftentimes, the people who go into the hospital find themselves in quite a stressful situation.

-They might be experiencing pain, be nervous about an examination, etc. and on top of this they have to deal with the challenge of finding their way around, says MD Bo Lunddal Krogh who is responsible for the hospital area.

Another important factor to consider is that the citizens who have to stop and ask for directions in some cases interrupt the staff as they are busy treating patients; interruptions that may lead to errors, the doctor says.

Architect Anne Corlin and a group of designers from Design School Kolding have worked on the project since October and on Wednesday they will present a number of suggestions for how to improve the current situation. Primarily they have chosen to work with lights, colours and pictograms; not least because it is cheap and effective but also because it is flexible.

And this is one of the conditions that hospitals face: Treatments are changed regularly and this means that the buildings and design of the buildings must be flexible in order to meet new requirements.

Anne Corlin and the designers have conducted a number of observations and workshops, and interviewed employees and patients/relatives.

Open source knowledge
The results of their work will be accessible to anyone with an interest in the field. It is a relevant topic at most hospitals; not least because of the new super hospitals that are under construction in Denmark.

- We hope the new knowledge will make wayfinding easier; not just in our hospital but anywhere they are experiencing the same type of problem that we are, says Bo Lunddal Krogh.

Recommendations (selection):
• Make sure that names are always presented in the same way, so that department names correspond in letters, on the website and in the hospital.
• Use regular, layman terms and avoid any latin terms.
• Use department colours and pictograms in letters and on the website stating very clearly in writing, colours and images to which department the external user has been called.
• Make a map of the hospital outlining the route and include it in the letter and on the website.
• Many of the departments have similar names. Make a strategy for naming the different departments so they become more diverse and become easier for external users to understand.
• Refer to the ground floor as ground floor or 0, so the 1st floor is not located on the 2nd floor.

The presentation will take place in meeting room Fænø at Middelfart Hospital.

Architect Anne Corlin, Design School Kolding, +45 26193829
MD Bo Lunddal Krogh, +45 21486349