Corbin and Avenue ISR join forces on diverse projects

Posted in Healthcare, Wayfinding Concept, Where We Work on October 20th, 2009 by Mark VanderKlipp – Be the first to comment

We love it when things turn out this way: our relationship started when Mark VanderKlipp and Woody Smith were invited to participate in a monthly book group. After about a year of sharing ideas around good literature, Mark and Woody started talking about business, and the commonalities that each of our companies have. Both a culture and a capabilities fit, we began to pursue work together.

Avenue ISR Logo

As part of our larger partnership philosophy, Corbin actively seeks relationships with companies that can increase both our capabilities and our market reach; in doing so, we bring more complete service offerings to our clients. In a globally connected world, with so many different ways to give and receive information, it’s critical that we take a deeper look at the issues and expectations of our clients’ target audiences. More often than not, the need for a wayfinding signage program is just one of many potential solutions to improve a visitor’s experience. Avenue ISR brings creative, empathetic research techniques that allow us to engage more fully with our clients.

D E E P E R   Q U E S T I O N S   L E A D   T O   B E T T E R   A N S W E R S

This partnership has been fruitful: Woody and his team have helped us develop new insights in several healthcare-related projects throughout the US: Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, IA; Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY and Saint Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids, MI. Each of these projects is currently in process.

We are also working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Hablamos Juntos and the SEGD on a comprehensive research program to help determine the impact that symbol-driven wayfinding solutions can have in healthcare environments. While the study focuses specifically on patients with limited English proficiency (LEP), these systems have been designed to benefit all users in healthcare settings.


An example of the proliferation of signage that the Hablamos Juntos program is designed to correct

Corbin and Avenue ISR were contracted to travel to four facilities located in different regions throughout the US. These facilities ranged from a major urban medical center in the Southeast to a collection of clinics in the Pacific Northwest. In each case, patient demographics varied widely, as did the range of services offered to these patients.

A selection of symbols used in the Hablamos Juntos program

A selection of symbols used in the Hablamos Juntos program

Our research objective was to measure how well the existing wayfinding systems were working in each facility, then develop design standards for creating a prototype signage system that includes the Hablamos Juntos symbols. In the fall/winter of 2009, we will visit each facility again to test the effectiveness of the improved wayfinding signage for LEP populations. This research is meant to measure the effectiveness of the symbols in hospitals and clinics where diverse populations have difficulty accessing healthcare, thereby eliminating barriers to care and improving the quality of  service. We will publish a future blog post that summarizes our findings.

We look forward to many more productive and interesting engagements with Avenue ISR. Thanks to Woody and his team for contributing to this article.

Woody Smith, President and Founder of Avenue ISR, is a 15-year veteran of strategic marketing and marketing research. He has conducted engagements with many companies using strategic insights to guide business turnarounds, new product/new market entry, brand strategy, customer loyalty, and marketing efficiency. Techniques used include focus groups, surveys, in-depth interviews, mystery shopping, and point of purchase intercepts. Smith is the author of numerous articles concerning marketing research, brand development and retail strategy. Woody has developed many of Avenue ISR’s proprietary research techniques and deliverables. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Williams College.

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The FHWA has issued a clarification on the ruling it issued on January 25, 2016 terminating the Interim Approval of Clearview as an alternate font to the MUTCD. With regard to community wayfinding signage systems, the use of alternate fonts is still possible.

To summarize:

  • Projects currently in fabrication do not need to comply.
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