Penn Medicine


Patient Navigation


The Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine (PCAM) is a state-of-the-art outpatient facility that is home to Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, radiation oncology, cardiovascular medicine and an outpatient surgical pavilion.

The practices at PCAM deliver specialty care to patients from across the country with an average of about 2,500 appointments scheduled each day.

Acknowledging that navigating a complex health center can be a challenge-- especially for patients who are both physically and mentally stressed, our team is working to design a formal set of wayfinding assets to help patients better navigate PCAM.


To start, we observed and interviewed patients making their way through the building and explored the space ourselves.  This helped us gain an understanding of the space as a whole, as well as identify points of friction that negatively affect the patient experience. 

We identified opportunities to reduce congestion at different touchpoints that would decrease wait-times and frustration, and also identified different aspects of the physical environment and information systems that led to patient confusion.

Based on our observations, we defined and tested several recommendations to improve patient navigation.

Observation Recommendation

The Main Atrium is the ideal starting point for navigation due to its proximity and accessibility to all major pavilions and elevator hubs

There is no easy way for patients to intuitively identify and differentiate high-level destinations such as pavilions

There is a lack of clearly defined landmarks to help reassure visitors that they are on the right path

Visitors have difficulty determining what floor they are on

Establish intuitive naming conventions for floors for easier vertical wayfinding
Inconsistent and redundant naming conventions cause confusion Establish an internal address system that categorizes rooms by unique names


We shared our recommendations with Penn Medicine leadership and other key stakeholders in October 2015.  Using our recommendations as a guide, operational groups at Penn Medicine will continue work to improve the patient experience by creating seamless and intuitive pathways.


3400 Civic Center Boulevard
14th Floor, South Pavilion
Philadelphia, PA 19104 

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