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New interior wayfinding coming to the ANMC hospital

September 13th, 2019 by Fiona Brosnan

A graphics and wayfinding update is being installed soon at ANMC. You will see new signs, graphics and maps throughout the ANMC hospital. The hospital will also be split into two color/graphic zones, mountain and water, in order to help patients and visitors easily find their destinations.

This work is the culmination of several years of research, health care wayfinding best practice and focus groups and was funded by a Board of Directors Strategic Initiative. Staff and patients will start to see this work going up in the coming weeks both in the hospital.

Health care wayfinding is a serious customer and patient relations issue for hospitals and medical facilities. Why? Because patients and visitors, inside and outside the facility, are usually in a heightened state of anxiety and are worried about finding their way to their intended destination. For first-time visitors and patients, this heightened state of anxiety is multiplied. With 60% of ANMC patients coming from outside Anchorage, navigating our campus can be a daunting task.

The frustration that comes from getting lost is ranked among the top complaints by visitors to health care facilities. Studies have shown that if visitors do not have direction – or reassurance of their direction – every 30 feet while traveling through a facility, they will likely stop and ask an employee for directions. That being said, an effective wayfinding signage system is crucial to keeping a hospital staff focused, productive and free from interruptions.

The interior wayfinding at the hospital will also come with some new clinic and department names. Training will be provided to help staff adjust, but all naming conventions in the hospital are being standardized to help with the patient experience. Learn more about the name changes here.

A few key differences to note: Customer Experience is now Patient Experience; Central Registration is now Admitting; Radiology is now Imaging; our therapy services are now Rehabilitative Services and the Flex Unit is now the Progressive Care Unit. All names will be reinforced and updated with signage on the first and second floors and updated directories. These new conventions will also be integrated into the new Alaska Native Health Campus patient wayfinding application also in the works.

Stay tuned the new few weeks as the new signs and graphics are installed and please help our patients navigate our facility and find their appropriate destination.

If you have any questions, please contact Abigail Kron at