Through evidence-based design we can change the traditional perception of a hospital room while also improving a patient’s level of care and more importantly their recovery. It’s proven that design elements such as a wood grain façade and a visible connection to nature have a calming effect on patients and the use of natural light and colored light (chroma-therapy) can improve a patient’s health. Enclosing most medical equipment to create a non-clinical environment helps reduce anxiety. Designers, however, tend to stop at the aesthetic level of a room without considering more important design considerations. Nurses are usually the face of the hospital to the patient and studies show a direct link between a nurse’s job satisfaction and the quality of patient care given. So providing convenient workstations and easy input improves work-flow, while allowing a nurse to load supplies from outside the room helps limit the number of interruptions to the patient. Also, not mirroring adjacent rooms helps nurses be more efficient since they don’t have to re-orient themselves. Creating a home-like atmosphere that encourages family and friends to visit at length, adds emotional support for faster healing. Additionally, giving patients control to the room’s features such as media, lighting, automatic blinds, temperature, etc. through master electronic devices improves their experience. Nothing is more important then improving safety in hospital design. Copper-based materials are proven to play a vital role in reducing the number of hospital acquired infections. Including technologies, such as UV robots, hand-hygiene tracking monitoring bracelets, and air cleaning carpet, will also aid in sanitation. Rubberized flooring helps reduce injury in a fall and bathrooms are best place on the head wall of the bed with a handrail to connect. The design of hospital rooms should be multi-faceted and approached from every micro detail.
The future of the patient room in healthcare will be a serene place of healing where the built environment is designed with consideration of emotional, psychological, and physiological need. A patient’s room design should be one that centers entirely on his or her care. Similar to multiple organs functioning together to affect a person’s health, so too will the built environment where the patient is placed in. Multiple zones for patient, family, and healthcare provider will join together creating one holistic center for the patient while technology will seamlessly interweave throughout the space. The end result will be a fusion of elements that work together to promote quality care, faster recovery, and a therapeutic experience.
HI-TECH HARMONY: To utilize modern advancement in technology that gives the patient full control of their surroundings and strengthens his or her overall room experience while promoting safety and high sanitation for effective recovery.
ZONE FUNCTIONALITY: Unite, through the use of functional zones that encourage ease of visitation and work-flow, the family, patient, and physician for a holistic approach to patient care.
CALMING CONNECTION: Support healing by removing the visibility to most medical equipment and/or clinical aesthetic and surrounding the patient with a space that is nature inspired, tranquil and inviting.