There’s a very good reason Lions Gate Hospital RN Allan Lai is beaming in this photo. He has seen countless patients looking lost and confused as they’ve tried to navigate around the hospital trying to get to the right place.
Allan knew exactly what was needed – a new wayfinding system to better help patients and their family members find their way to high-demand areas of the LGH campus more quickly and easily.
He isn’t the first person who’s wanted to find a permanent solution to the problem, but he was the first person who took the time to present his idea using one of VCH’s continuous improvement cards where staff fill out issue statements and potential solutions.
His ideas sparked the start of a working group that researched and consulted on what would work best for LGH. The group included Dr. Hazel Park, emergency clinician Sherry Stackhouse, RN Anita Sanghara, RN Michelle Connell, ED manager Angeline Bierstee, Maintenance Supervisor Michele Reitz, Dr. Phil Miller, Dr. Stuart Horak, Diagnostic Imaging coordinator Egidio Pasin and Program Manager Barb Ferreira.
"I guess my enthusiasm for wayfinding was rather unexpected but it's something I've been clamouring for a while now," says Allan. "Wayfinding is often overlooked in the big picture. Families are worried about their sick loved one, the sick are too busy being sick to look for directions, and there are so many moving parts in patient care."
"Eliminating the need to look for signs on walls, which, frankly, are lost amongst equipment, people, etc. will remove the stress of having to find a specific department."
“As well as help direct patients more easily to where they need to be, the wayfinding will reduce interruptions to staff who are regularly asked for directions,” says Dr. Hazel Park.
“Because the department is so large, the directions can get complicated – turn left, then turn right, then turn left again, which only adds to the confusion. The new wayfinding will be a huge improvement.”
Wayfinding improvements started this week in the Emergency Department and hospital basement. The full wayfinding system should be completed in about three weeks.