Icon System to Improve Patient Communication

A family of icons that represent the different treatments and consultations at the Metabolic Bone Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield. These have been applied to the walls in the waiting area and on appointment letters sent to patients to improve communication.

Through a process of immersive research, we identified a number of key problems. Firstly, not all patients were arriving with samples or having attended the correct blood testing prior to arrival. Secondly, there was confusion amongst some patients about where to wait which reduced the overall efficiency and thirdly, some patients were unaware of the need to take a ticket to wait.

To address these issues we created a consistent family of icons that represented each treatment, these icons would appear in the ward and on letters sent to patients prior to arrival.

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