Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Designing and Publishing Indoor Maps for Patients and Visitors in.pdf (4.57 MB)

Designing and Publishing Indoor Maps for Patients and Visitors in an Academic Teaching Hospital

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posted on 2019-11-22, 18:16 authored by Kerry J. Ryder

Introduction. This project aims to improve the service user experience by designing and publishing an accessible indoor map in an academic teaching hospital. On a daily basis approximately 600 service users will be disoriented in the hospital resulting in 18 hours/day staff time spent helping patients find their way. 84% (n=109) of staff categorised indoor maps as a service improvement. Patients who get lost can feel anxiety, shame and even panic. Maps can improve patient autonomy¹. Internationally hospitals develop a wayfinding strategy to co-ordinate information received by service users.

Initiation. Volunteer-run project survey (n=175) showed 84% of disoriented patients would have liked a map. Up to 18 hours/day staff time is invested in re-orientating approximately 600 patients daily.

Planning. Analysis of service user locations included signs, directions, and kiosk locations. Tool choice was Adobe Illustrator CS6 (Adobe, 2014) to create paper maps. Maps available in leaflet form, on the reverse of a letter or as a kiosk ticket.

Implementation. The map was endorsed by senior management and published on the hospital website. Development time was 80 hours but project was cost neutral. Adopting maps will cost €1700 annually (1c/letter).

Evaluation. MAPQUAL quality framework² gave a medium-high map quality score, issues identified with signage accuracy (69%) affecting map clarity, usefulness and availability through patient letters.

Conclusion. The HSE Change Model³ supports developing innovation projects but mainstreaming may require further research where change disrupts processes. Irish hospitals should develop wayfinding strategies to deliver information consistency across hospital groups for service users


First Supervisor

Ms J Hogan


A dissertation submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Leadership, Institute of Leadership, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2015.

Published Citation

Ryder KJ. Designing and Publishing Indoor Maps for Patients and Visitors in an Academic Teaching Hospital [Masters dissertation]. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2015.

Degree Name

  • MSc Leadership

Date of award


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