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In this week's article, I'd like to discuss recent developments and the continued evolution in the hospital way finding and building themes. Currently, as many as 10,000 visitors, patients, and staff navigate daily throughout our almost 2 million square foot facility. They do this in the midst of construction, renovation, and the relocation of hospital services. With more relocations coming and new permanent way finding signs being installed, NNMC's Transition and Integration Team, in conjunction with the Marketing Department, have been working very hard to stay on top of the current way finding pathways and locations of Departments and Services. This has been accomplished by utilizing temporary signs and a variety of handouts for patients, staff, and visitors. Shortly following the December opening of Building 19 (America Zone), a new facility map showing Buildings 1-10, 19, 54, 55 and 63, was developed and made available at all major facility entrances.

Throughout the last 7 months, this map has continued to change and grow as our facility has continued to evolve. Constant and timely revision has assisted with keeping everyone up to date on how to best navigate around the facility. In May of 2011, an updated alphabetical listing of hospital services and their current locations was combined with the way finding map in to a "Finding Your Way Around" brochure. New versions of the brochure will be updated as hospital services continue to relocate and new services become available. The "Finding Your Way Around" brochure is dated so that staff, patients, and visitors can be sure they have the most current version. The brochure edition currently in circulation is dated May 1, 2011.

In June of 2011, the "Finding Your Way Around" brochure served as the foundation for an update to more than 15 existing kiosks located in Buildings 2, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Many of these kiosks have not been updated since the beginning of the construction and depict outdated service locations on a preconstruction facility map. By the end of June, all facility wide kiosks will depict their location on an updated map and feature an alphabetical directory. Reflecting the same images and information in the kiosks and brochures, as what is being installed with the new permanent facility signage, will result in a cohesive, easy to use, color, and key image way finding experience in the midst of construction and relocating hospital services. If you come across any inaccurate or confusing signs, please let us know by notifying a member of the Transition and Integration staff or sending an email to the email address.

I want to thank our fantastic team of "First Responders," blue-coat greeters, as well as the many staff members, that go out of their way to assist others with navigating our huge and evolving facility. As we continue to transition into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, the amount of visitors, patients, and new staff needing some assistance finding their way can only be anticipated to increase. The simple act of asking "Can I help you find something?" and assisting those in need, can make a huge and lasting impact on our patient's and visitor's first and recurring impression and experience of our new facility, the level of service of our staff, and the quality of patient and family centered care we take pride in delivering.

Please direct any questions or comments to my staff at

Chief of Staff for Integration and Transition sends