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Nudge to improve wayfinding, flow and patient satisfaction


Client: Aarhus University Hospital

Purpose and targets
The purpose of the behavior change program was to make sure that patients and relatives get to focus mental energy on preparing surgery and recovery rather than on finding a parking space, clinic registration stations, or the easiest way to exit. To us, this meant redesigning summons letters and emails, outdoor and indoor wayfinding systems, digital services, and registration processes to better match subconscious decision processes when you visit the hospital ensuring a high level of usability in outdoor and indoor wayfinding systems, and patient communication to nudge the patient experience from the moment they receive the summons letter to the moment they leave the hospital.


The assignment and approach 
To meet the project targets, we introduced a behavior change program, mapping patient journeys— leading to e.g. the emergency room and selected clinics with a high risk of delays in patient turn out. We especially focused on patients arriving by car and public transportation—to the entrance to successfully register and receive the correct treatment. 

Observations and analyses of the surroundings and communication elements gave us insights on where to focus the first round of nudge development. Based on our analysis, we designed solutions that would better match subconscious decision-making using visual icons over text, increasing signage viability by integrating visual milestones, simplifying location names, and giving visual feedback on time to destination.

Since 2018 Aarhus University Hospital have been going through an extensive transformation as it expands to become one of the biggest “super” hospitals in Denmark. During the transformation Aarhus University Hospital moved more than 10.000 employees to new 500,000 square meter facilities in spring 2019— since 2019 the hospital accommodates more than 1 million patients annually. For the past 10 years, Aarhus University Hospital has been awarded “The Best Danish Hospital”. To keep the title and ensure a high level of patient satisfaction. while going through a tremendous transformation, AUH asked us to optimize, and further develop wayfinding systems, patient flow and patient communication to match the new premises while ensuring a high level of satisfaction.

The result was a collective and strategic optimization of elements supporting the outdoor wayfinding system, creating the best possible prerequisites for patients and relatives going to the ER by making it easy to arrive, drop-off, park, and register. This also helped allocate more mental strength to guests to handle potentially emotionally stressful situations and circumstances. Since wayfinding and communication nudges were implemented, the overall patient satisfaction increased from 84% to 89%, satisfaction with wayfinding to selected clinics increased from 75% to 79%, and satisfaction with information before visiting clinics increased from 69% to 73%. 

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