Wayfinding Mistakes at Danish hospitals

Time span
PhD Project
Ph.d. project by:
Tanja Thøgersen

In Denmark, these years billions are invested in buildings for hospitals, these being placed in reconstructions as well as new constructions. At the moment at least 37 construction projects are taking place and more of these projects will run until 2020. The lack of available knowledge on wayfinding in hospitals and how it is disseminated to practice is more striking than ever.

The goal is to collect data about and classify the mistakes made by patients, visitors and staff when trying to find their way in hospitals. The mistake typology will expose where the mistakes are made (process-related and geographical) and which types of mistakes are the most common and/ or have the largest consequences. The news value consist in 1) to classify wayfinding mistakes on detail level, 2) to connect mistake analyses with wayfinding, 3) to collect and make the knowledge available for participants in construction projects and 4) to apply a language psychological background and methodology in an architectural context.

The aim is to disseminate knowledge on wayfinding to hospitals by producing a guide for developers, architects, working groups and other interested parties to enable them to plan, improve and evaluate wayfinding better in Danish hospitals. The guide will be divided in two sections – one about the typology of mistakes and the other containing instructions on concrete solutions.

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