A hospital is an institution that provides medical, surgical or psychiatric care and treatment of the sick or the injured. With those specialized purposes, a hospital has a unique environment and hospital users have special needs and a wide range of personal characteristics. People visiting or admitted to a hospital are often anxious. Losing their way or becoming disoriented in a complex hospital facility increases anxiety and stress. Stress levels can adversely affect the results of medical treatment. Poor wayfinding design can elevate stress levels, which can adversely affect medical treatment, and decrease patients' satisfaction with the quality of medical care. This thesis attempts to add new information and considerations to existing wayfinding theory to help designers be more successful in solving wayfinding design problems that still remain in hospital environments. This thesis also provides solutions to spatial problems, and suggests ways to reduce hospital users' stress. The primary audience for this thesis is graphic and environmental designers, and any other professinals working closely with wayfinding designers who will use this thesis as a model for developing wayfinding design for other complex facilities. The secondary audience is hospital users and staff who experience difficulty with finding their way in hospitals.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Hospital buildings--Design and construction; Signs and signboards; Hospital buildings--Environmental engineering; Graphic arts
Imaging Arts (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Media Sciences (CIAS)
Park, Youngjoo, "Improving Existing Wayfinding Theory for Hospital Environments" (2004). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus