The hospital experience can be improved by understanding how patients interact with their environment, said Perkins + Will healthcare architect Larry Metcalf in a recent wellness blog. The practical and emotional implications of space planning and furnishings selection are important. For instance, The placement of the bedside cabinet or providing the proper chair contributes to healing by enhancing the patient experience.
"Being a hospital patient is never easy. A hospital stay is a scary experience. Patients fear for their physical wellbeing. Will the treatments be successful? How much will it hurt? How long will the stay be? A hospital stay also takes people out of their comfort zone. Separated from close family and friends for most of the day, the patient’s most intimate experiences – from using the toilet to bathing – are shared with complete strangers. Although hospital staffs strive to maintain the patient’s dignity, this unfamiliar intimacy can cause additional anxiety.
Although I have worked as a healthcare architect for a number of years, I experienced these fears and anxieties when I was a patient undergoing surgery at a community hospital in California. My 1980s era semi-private room was not up to contemporary design standards, but in interacting with this environment I gained new insights about patient rooms that I will incorporate into my designs." Metcalf wrote.
Among the things to consider:
• Inaccessible Space
• Room Flexibility and Circulation
• The Family Zone
Read the blog.