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UC design research points the way so you won't get lost at the hospital
Date:8/6/2009

Help is on the way for anyone who has ever gotten lost at a hospital or other health-care setting.

That help is in the form of health-care signage symbols being developed by design students at the University of Cincinnati and three other U.S. universities.

These symbols will be tested this fall at four hospitals across the nation and by means of surveys taken among the populations in three Midwestern cities, according to Yolanda Partida, director of Hablamos Juntos (We Speak Together), based at UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education & Research. Hablamos Juntos and the Society for Environmental Graphic Design are overseeing the project that is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The project challenge for students is straightforward but substantial: Develop symbols that could serve to guide any population speaking any language and representing any reading or education level to specific points in a hospital or other health-care setting. So, for instance, develop a symbol that would communicate and guide users to specific service areas: hospital admission, dental care, genetics counseling, mental health services, ophthalmology, nutrition counseling, pathology, radiology and more.

Students in the University of Cincinnati's internationally ranked School of Design began working on signage proposals in January 2009, led by Oscar Fernndez, UC associate professor of design. In the current summer quarter, 16 students are now finishing up their health-care symbols, getting ready for testing of those symbols this fall.

In addition, students from California Polytechnic State University, Iowa State University and Kent State University have also been developing symbols to be part of the fall 2009 test group.

According to Partida, each school was asked to create 15-20 symbols that would be added to a collection of 28 symbols, created by professionals, already in use nationally.
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Contact: M.B. Reilly
mary-bridget.reilly@uc.edu
513-556-1824
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

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