Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento has been named one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation for five years. It is a foundation of Sutter Health, Northern California’s largest health network with 29 acute care hospitals and more than 5,000 primary care physicians and specialists. The medical center in Sacramento is made up of facilities including Ose Adams Medical Pavilion, Anderson Lucchetti Women’s & Children’s Center, and Sutter Center for Psychiatry.
Image Group is currently enhancing an interior and exterior wayfinding plan for this facility. Specifically, we are reprogramming and replacing interior signage with upgraded and more recognizable displays in addition to adding key signage to more visible locations. We are also modifying exterior installations by adding signage at key decision points, revising messages, and enhancing visibility by reducing the messaging and darkening background colors.
Furthermore, we are improving the medical center’s valet and parking experiences. Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento occupies four buildings in a major city setting on one-way streets. Designing a safe wayfinding system cohesive to individuals with wheelchairs and with limited mobility is the goal.
Senior Account Executive Rebecca Redmon used her background in design to conceptualize the redesign at Sutter Medical Center. “I understand healing environments and the audience we are navigating. Over the years, I’ve realized that simplifying the wayfinding system helps eliminate confusion and stress. Information should be general in main traffic areas and more specific as visitors approach their desired destinations,” she explained.
Steve Hutchinson, a Consultant at Image Group also with a background in design, added, “Through design, we were able to create a new color palette that created effective contrast. In high stress situations, hospital visitors need easily readable, simple messaging to get them to key places quickly, so we designed with this in mind. We also were able to identify decision points in the hospital with clear and simple iconography with a memorable color and lettering system that helped to clarify and simplify journeys.”
In addition to applying their backgrounds and skillsets, Image Group team members collaborated to utilize their collective expertise in construction. After analyzing the architecture of the buildings at Sutter Medical Center, the Image Group team recognized a need to clarify and simplify journeys of patients attempting to navigate such a large health care facility. A new system was created that lessened confusion by using color-coded elevator banks as navigation waypoints. Ultimately, the team created a familiar feel across the entire health center campus by designing a consistent maintenance plan.
“The wayfinding enhancement plan really showed how well Image Group studies and listens to their client,” Steve said. Rebecca clarified this plan by explaining, “We worked with key stakeholders as well as conducted patient focus groups to ensure we captured all information and concerns. We watched and studied current traffic patterns used by visitors as they approached and walked the facility.” This exploration was all completed before the Image Group team began designing. This allowed an optimal wayfinding plan to be created with the client’s actual needs as the focus.
Steve can personally attribute to the positive experience he’s had working with the team at Sutter Health. “Sutter’s culture is so friendly and helpful, and they have genuine and talented key personnel we were privileged to get to know and work alongside. We really became an extension of the Sutter team.”
Rebecca’s experience echoed Steve’s when she was asked to share her sentiments. “It was so amazing to see the commitment the staff at Sutter had with this project and how they followed it through with their time and involvement with meetings and focus groups,” said Rebecca. “Their willingness to listen and open up to new ideas was incredible.”
Phase 1 of this multi-step project was completed in December of 2016 and Phase 2 is currently underway. The team at Image Group is excited to continue working to bring the project at Sutter Medical Center to completion.