Thanks to a new digital wayfinding system, guests at Wilmington Hospital can quickly get clear, easy-to-understand directions to lead them to their destination.

Launched in February, the system includes a digital kiosk that visitors can use to find and print directions to the places they want to go. It’s designed as a self-service system, but staff and volunteers are available to assist.

Visitors can search for a patient room number, a department, a unit name or a conference room. Information includes a map and printed directions in large-font type.

Sponsored in collaboration with the Junior Board of Christiana Care Inc., the wayfinding system was three years in the making.

“The Junior Board was enthusiastic about supporting this new technology,” said Nancy Rich, president. “Our goal was to help patients and visitors reach their destinations more easily and without stress. Visiting a hospital can be confusing for first-time visitors, and we want to help alleviate as much anxiety as we can.”

The $210-million expansion of Wilmington Hospital brought home the need for a wayfinding system.

“Wilmington Hospital is an entire city block, with essentially one entrance,” said Jill Karpinski, corporate director, Facilities Engineering. “Google can direct you to the hospital, but it doesn’t help you once you get inside.”

To provide a system that is accessible to everyone, the team focused on technologies that don’t require visitors to have a smartphone.

“As the Wilmington Hospital campus grew, so did our need to increase the navigation tools we had available to better serve our patients and families,” said Margarita Rodriguez-Duffy, director, Visitor and Volunteer Services. “Through this new wayfinding technology, our team has another way to partner with our visitors to ensure that they get to their destinations in a timely fashion.”

The wayfinding system has the ability to expand, based on feedback from visitors and staff. An upgrade that would include information on individual health care providers and their office locations is in the planning phase.

“This kind of technology gives us the ability to serve our neighbors in multiple ways,” Karpinski said. “When someone visits the hospital, our goal is to make that experience as smooth and welcoming as possible.”