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Why a Hospital Must Invest in Signs

June 21, 2019

Out of all organizations that need multiple signs the most, hospitals rank high on the list. A hospital is a center for public safety, which is enhanced by useful signage. Here are some of the most essential reasons why medical facilities need to place a heavy emphasis on signs.

Parking Lots Must Be Controlled

Ambulances rush to emergency rooms every day, so a hospital needs to ensure these vehicles can get in and out of parking lots without slowdowns or obstacles. Reserved spaces must be made available for every ambulance, which can be accomplished with ambulance signs. Here are some of the common messages on these signs:

  • Ambulance Parking
  • Reserved Parking for Ambulance
  • No Parking: Authorized Emergency Vehicles Only
  • Emergency Medical Services Parking
  • Ambulance Parking Only: All Other Vehicles Will Be Towed

To ensure everyone gets the message to steer clear of emergency medical services, it helps to include warnings about heavy fines. Even though on-duty ambulance drivers are allowed to park anywhere, they should also be cognizant not to create parking problems for patients. You may also want “No Parking” signs that say “Doctors Only.”

Of course, you need to care for your patients as well, so adding “Patient Parking” signs help keep a hospital parking lot orderly. Parking must be available for drivers with disabilities. In Phoenix, parking fines began escalating in 2010. One of the highest penalties in the city is illegally parking in a disabled spot, which carries a potential fine of over $550.

Health Warning Signs

Hospitals use high powered equipment that can be dangerous to visitors, patients and employees. Laser beams, for example, can blind a person who looks directly into laser lights. So any type of medical equipment that presents health risks should be identified with appropriate signage. Any room that uses X-Rays should have warning signs as reminders. There should also be signs that warn workers to wear protective clothing around certain machines.

Indoor Navigation Signs

Since hospitals are often large structures, you should have signs throughout the building that direct visitors where to go for doctor appointments. Each department should have signs to clarify the type of practice being performed such as “Cardiology” or “Dermatology.” These signs will help people visiting patients find their way to the right room, since hospitals can have long halls filled with patient rooms and doctor’s offices that all look similar.

Any medical facility definitely needs to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandates that all public places must include signs for handicapped people. These signs must include Braille lettering for the visually-impaired and must be accessible for people in wheelchairs to reach.

Even a cafe should have not only a sign for the entrance, but signs around the hospital that direct occupants to the dining area. Directories placed on every floor will further help create a calm atmosphere so that no one gets lost or uncomfortable.

Arrows and Images

The most understandable signs for directing people toward a destination often have arrows pointing in the proper direction. Arrows provide clarity, whereas long lists of room numbers can be overwhelming to new visitors. Visuals such as images and symbols also help communicate more clearly, especially for patients who don’t speak or read English. People tend to respond quicker and remember signs with accompanying visuals better than signs with just text.


Every hospital should be equipped with as many signs as necessary to ensure vehicle and pedestrian traffic is safe and not disruptive to health professionals or patients. Here at Zumar, we have all the signs you need in order to direct patients and traffic. We even create custom signs with your own branding. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about effective signage for your health clinic or hospital.

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