Designing Hospitals That Foster Healthier Minds

The hospital has seen a host of mold outbreaks since 2005, when it discovered Aspergillus mold in an operating room

January 7, 2021

Healthcare design has evolved in recent years in ways that attempt to offer patients a greater say in their experiences in hospitals. One key goal of this evolution is to create facilities that release a patient’s anxiety and provide an environment of safety.

Now, a new set of interior design principles are emerging to help foster a healthy mindset in healthcare settings, according to Architectural Digest. Healthcare executives and managers are slowly warming to the idea of prioritizing a patient’s emotional responses to stimuli over old paradigms of medical efficiency and plastic-coated durability. Scientific research has provided back up, from an early experiment which revealed that a patient’s hospital room view could affect their recovery to a new study finding that exposure to the blues and green of the natural world influenced mental health during this year’s pandemic lockdowns.

In response, designers have filled new hospitals with elements such private nooks, lounges, and outdoor spaces, far more daylight, moveable furniture, and a meditation room adorned with bamboo flooring and wall-sized fractal glass art that depicts a much beloved local oak tree. Patients, families, and staff can choose to recover in bright play areas or less stimulating zones, like a terrace with two old-fashioned wood porch swings.

 

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