While visiting a few healthcare facilities recently, I noticed many signs that have been ink-jet printed or even hand written. "Please Remember: Do not Take Pagers Home", "No Visitors Allowed Beyond This Point", "All Employees Must Remove PPE when Leaving Decontam". These are all important messages that need to be communicated to the staff and visitors. I was really surprised that some were barely legible. Signs have proven to be an important aspect of human culture for countless reasons. They are a significant part of everyday life. Now more than ever, they have become amongst the most important forms of communication in the healthcare field. Let's think about it...when a hospital needs to inform visitors, employees and patients on what to do in case of emergencies, where rooms are, or what a certain department is, they use signs. In order to be effective, these signs must draw attention and communicate clearly. Could you imagine if you handled bio-hazard chemicals without proper PPE, because you didn't notice the sign? Signs play another function; they convey an image, an image about a community, a company, a healthcare facility and even an individual department. Quality signs that are attractive, and also effective in communicating a message clearly, reflect well upon the sign designer and the department itself. How do you judge a sign? Does it attract attention and get the message across? Communication is the most important factor in any department. Make sure when you are planning processes, policies or procedures that you have effective signs to communicate to your staff, vendors and visitors.


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