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Symbols Signage Educational Series
Pre Audit Site Visits
Post Audit Site Visits

Four innovator health organizations, selected through a Request for Application (RFA) process, have volunteered to make their new buildings easier to navigate by adopting Universal Health Care Symbols to replace traditional signs using written words. A team of leading national experts in symbols and wayfinding signage will support innovators facilities with technical assistance and evaluation support to develop award-winning wayfinding programs using graphic symbols.

Innovator Health Organizations

Hablamos Juntos and SEGD hope that health organizations nationwide are inspired by these innovator facilities to explore how symbols can be incorporated into their signage. To begin get a copy of the “how to” guide Universal Symbols in Health Care Workbook .

  • WOMEN & INFANTS HOSPITAL, Rhode Island, which plans to implement symbols signage throughout a new five-story building with 80 neonatal intensive care rooms and 30 additional inpatient obstetrics rooms
  • INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES, (ICHS) in Seattle, Washington will use symbols signage in its two community health centers; about 34,000 square feet of  medical, dental, behavioral health, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, pharmacy, lab  and health education services
  • CHILDREN’S MERCY HOSPITAL in Kansas City, Missouri plans to use symbols for a 500,000 square foot expansion that includes their emergency department, beginning with an ER/OR and MRI project
  • GRADY HEALTH SYSTEM in Atlanta, Georgia, which was involved in the testing of the universal health symbols developed in phase one of the initiative and now plans a five-year effort to replace existing signs with symbols in all facilities across their entire multi-building campus service area.

Those interested can follow implementation progress of our innovator facilities through an online photo gallery (coming soon) showing before and after photos.

Sign up for our listserv to receive information about this project and other innovations to reduce language barriers to health care.

Symbols Signage Educational Series icon

A series of educational teleconference oriented to wayfinding and signage in healthcare facilities are available to Innovator Sites and open to design schools and healthcare facilities interested in symbols. Teleconferences are free on a first come first serve basis. A maximum of 45 callers can be accommodated for each teleconference.  Look for recordings of these sessions here.

To register, click here. Sessions are 60 – 90 minutes long

                                                                                         October 14, 2008
Part 1: Formulating a wayfinding Strategy (ppt)                10 AM (PST)/ 1:00 PM EST

This session will focus on developing a wayfinding strategy for a healthcare institution and the elements that need to be included.  How to engage facility staff and designers and tips on hiring and working with an environmental graphic designer will also be discussed.


                                                                                         October 30, 2008
Part 2: Destination Criteria and Naming (ppt)                       10 AM (PST)/ 1:00 PM EST

This session will discuss how destinations are selected and named as well as how a hierarchy of destinations is selected and integrated into the overall wayfinding plan.  The session will also include sample survey methodologies.

* Audio



                                                                                         December 3, 2008
Part 3: Sign Design and Development (ppt)                      10 AM (PST)/ 1:00 PM EST

This session will discuss how symbols can be integrated into signs and graphics as part of a wayfinding or signage program.  This session will include how symbols can work with letter/numbers, words, unique symbols and color. 

* Audio


                                                                                          December 16, 2008
Part 4: The Testing Process (ppt)                                        10 AM (PST)/ 1:00 PM EST

This session is about testing signs in the field and how testing results can make a difference in the design process.



                                                                                          January 20, 2009
Part 5: Designe Guidelines (ppt)                                          10 AM (PST)/ 1:00 PM EST

This session will focus on how to develop ongoing guidelines for maintaining and adapting wayfinding systems for future growth and renovations.  This will include how to integrate new destinations, make changes in signs, and how maps and print graphics can be used to enhance wayfinding programs.



                                                                                          February 10, 2009
Part 6: Maps, Handouts and the Web                             10 AM (PST)/ 1:00 PM

This session covers how print graphics and digital technologies can be used to augment a wayfinding signage system.




Pre Audit Site Visits - Coming soon


Post Audit Site Visits – Scheduled Fall 2009