Recently, I was contacted by an author who wanted me to research how to find a particular hospital’s interior— particularly the ER. The institution happened to be Cedars-Sinai Hospital in California.
This is not as hard as you might think. The more popular, or should I say well known, the hospital is the more likely you’ll be able to find photos. Hospitals like to show off, particularly if they’ve done any sort of recent remodel. Typically, on hospital websites, you’ll find a few shots of the interior of some of the more high cost, technologically dependent areas like the ER, the ICU, and radiology suites.
In this instance, I was actually able to find several shots of the interior on an architectural firm’s website who had remodeled the hospital’s ER in 1997. The only piece of information that would need to be ferreted out passed that point is whether or not the hospital has remodeled since then which I would personally find unlikely.
Most often, for this type of information just Google search very specifically. For instance, I searched “photos of Cedars-Sinai Hospital ER” and one of the first links was to the architectural firm.
If you are using an existing hospital in your novel then it is probably a wise move to try and find actual photos as a reference for your descriptive passages. Trust me, someone who works in that ER will read your novel and know the difference.