Assessing signage in your health service

Communication and Health Literacy

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The structure of this assessment tool is influenced by D DeWalt et al., Improve Written Communication Assessment Tool, Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville MD, 2014, viewed 21 July 2014,


Select one answer that most accurately describes your Service:

  • Doing well:  Our service is doing this well
  • Could be better:  Our service is doing this, but could do it better
  • Not doing:  Our service is not doing this
  • Not sure or N/A:  I don't know the answer, or it is not applicable to our service
NoQuestionDoing wellCould be betterNot doingNot sure or N/A
1.The name of the service is clearly displayed on the outside of the building.    
2.There are sufficient and appropriate signs to direct consumers to the main entrance.    


Signs near and at reception meet the
needs of consumers, including those
with low health literacy.



Internal and external signs use large
and clearly visible lettering.



A sign clearly tells consumers what to
do and where to go when they first



Signs are displayed throughout the
facility to direct consumers to
locations like waiting areas,
reception, toilets and service areas.



Alternative visual cues, like coloured
lines, are used to help people find their
way within the facility.



Office signs use everyday words like
'Walk-In' and 'Health Centre'. If
medical terms are used, plain English
descriptions are provided as well, for
example: 'Pathology (including blood



Office signs are written in English and
in the primary languages of the population
being served or include standard



Symbols and graphics are used
consistently on signs throughout
the facility.



Walls and notice boards are not
cluttered with printed notices and
posters. It is easy for consumers
to pick out the important


January 2019