Optimized Wayfinding Signage Positioning in Hospital Built Environment through Medical Data and Flows Simulations

Weihong Guo, Yiwei He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study argues that medical data should be better utilized and attention should be paid to the patient’s visual experience during their journey to the emergency department (ED). Wayfinding in medical settings remains a challenge for patients. One reason is that decision makers do not adequately understand what the patients have seen and been through during their journey in the ED built environment, which leads to inaccurate selection and misplacement of signage. This study claims that there is still room to optimize existing wayfinding design methods. This study selected a representative large-scale general hospital in China, collected the annual healthcare information system (HIS) data of ED patients in 2021, and reproduced the clinical process of ED patients in the form of a probability treemap through categorical analysis. Furthermore, Massmotion was used to simulate the patient’s journey and obtain their vision focus area (VFA). With the VFA and field observation record, the research targeted 17 wall surfaces in the ED built environment. On the basis of the comparative analysis, we found the misplacement of the current signage system and the direction of future optimization. This method can provide a reference for designers during their decision-making process to aim for an efficient wayfinding system.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1426
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


  • Massmotion simulation
  • built environment
  • data analysis
  • emergency department
  • patient journey
  • signage positioning

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