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An Inside Look at Hospital Signage Standards & Requirements


 — October 3rd, 2020

An Inside Look at Hospital Signage Standards & Requirements

The healthcare industry deals with extensive privacy laws, requirements and standards that must be followed, making effective communication more difficult. Luckily, digital signage software is a proven solution for hospital communication challenges. But considering HIPAA laws and ADA requirements, finding the right digital signage platform is important.

It’s important to know hospital signage standards prior to choosing a solution. The ADA recognizes four basic sign types for hospital settings:

Basic Sign Types

  • Identification – Signs that identify a space, room or area.
  • Informational –Hospital signage that provides specific information.
  • Directional –Signs that provide direction to a room, space or area.
  • Overhead –Ceiling, wall and projection type signs mounted overhead.

Due to the specific federal requirements about every aspect of these signs, identification signs typically don’t work well with digital signage as they require raised lettering and braille. However, there are other ways to use digital signage in hospitals.

Use Cases for Hospital Digital Signage

Outside of identification signs, digital signage can facilitate hospital communications throughout any healthcare facility. Not only can digital signage improve the patient and visitor experience, but it can also empower staff and improve employee engagement. Here are a few other use cases for hospital digital signage:

  • Digital directories & wayfinding
  • Employee communications
  • Digital menu boards
  • Video walls & lobby signage

Internal digital signage can also be controlled on a user-based level to ensure adherence to all HIPAA laws and privacy requirements. Administrators can enable specific user-based permissions in the content management system, allowing different people to access content without opening up access to the system as a whole. However, it is important to research all ADA laws before implementing an exact solution as they can change depending upon the particular sign and message.

Hospital Signage Requirements

Although digital signage technology can be extremely helpful, it is critical to understand the various hospital digital signage standards required by federal laws. The following are some broad areas to consider that vary depending upon the sign type and intent:

  • Sign finish: Non-glare.
  • Sign colors: Easy contrasting colors.
  • Raised lettering: Not applicable to most digital signage.
  • Lettering font and height: Simple or Sans Serif (not italics).
  • Letter case: Upper or lower is allowed.
  • Pictograms: No specific requirement.
  • Line and letter spacing: 35-70% of height, and 10 to 35% stroke.
  • Mounting: Overhead signs need a minimum clearance of 80”.
  • Secured: All patient-specific content must have a level of encryption that is HIPPA compliant.

Requirements for hospital signage can also vary by state and facility type so it is important to do the proper research before implementing a digital solution.

Digital signage is a robust solution for any hospital environment. The ability for this technology to disseminate real-time information efficiently not only improves the patient experience, but it enhances other aspects of daily operations.

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