Clinical Center News
July/August 2017

Hospital celebrates first anniversary of CC TakeMeThere app

Map view of step by step directions
The wayfinding app provides step by step directions throughout the Clinical Center.
 
Categories on the wayfinding app include new staff services tile and patient portal tile
New staff services tile was recently added for NIH staff as an informational tool that contains career, community, social, financial or physical resources. The new Patient Portal can be accessed from the app with one click as well.
 

With more than 20,000 rooms, 13 miles of corridors, 15 outpatient clinics and 93 day hospital stations the NIH Clinical Center can be a confusing place to get around.

Focused on improving the patient experience, a team of CC innovators began exploring the potential of a virtual map that could help patients find their way around the hospital. This came to fruition in 2016 with the development of an easy-to-use app that patients could download to their smartphones to help them navigate the building. The NIHCC TakeMeThere app was launched to the NIH community in July 2016 and is available as a free download. Employees who joined NIH after January 2017 automatically have the app downloaded on their NIH moble device.

Hospitals are built with a focus on the care of their patients and not on creating a space that's easy to navigate. Ironically, however, that can unintentionally result in spaces tha arent so easy to navigate. The CC's unique history is also a factor. The hospital opened its doors in 1953 and added the Ambulatory Care Research Facility in 1983 and the Clinical Research Center in 2004. These spaces number their rooms differently, creating the potential for confusion among visitors and staff. The development of NIHCC TakeMeThere helps patients, visitors and staff bridge these challenges.

"Our goal is to get the patient where they want to be when they want to be there," said Eric Cole, chief of the CC Administrative Management Department and lead on the implementation of the app. "In doing so we saw an opportunity to make the hospital safer. With NIHCC TakeMeThere, emergency personnel and first responders can now easily find any room in the facility no matter where it is or if they've ever been there."

The app is available in both English and Spanish. In addition, it has a "talk to" feature that allows anyone with visual impairments to received spoken commands to get them to their location.

The free app can be downloaded on iOS (Apple) [disclaimer] and Android devices [disclaimer] and allows patients and staff to text message or email directions to others who may not have the app. The NIHCC TakeMeThere website allows individuals to share directions with others via email or print, an important feature for patients without smartphone devices. Questions? Contact eric.cole@nih.gov.

Top 10 Destinations Searched on the TakeMeThere app
(Searches since June 2, 2017)

  1. NIH Blood Bank
  2. Graduate Medical Education Office
  3. B1 Cafeteria
  4. Surgery Waiting Room
  5. Pain and Palliative Care Department
  6. Clinical Center North Entrance
  7. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Clinical Offices
  8. Clinical Center South Entrance
  9. Admissions
  10. Department of Clinical Research Informatics Offices and Clinical Research Information System Training Room