Four areas of healthcare facility design have been shown to impact well-being and health, according to an article on the FacilitiesNet website.
• Biophilic design. The term “biophilia” describes features that bond people to the natural world. In recent decades healthcare designers have begun exploring how biophilia can positively impact patient outcomes.
• Daylight exposure. Multiple studies have shown that patients with more access to natural light heal more quickly and return home sooner.
• Acoustical and thermal comfort. Acoustics have been shown to impact both the health and satisfaction of patients and staff. Thermal comfort is particularly important in patient rooms, where temperature impacts recovery conditions, as well as in operating rooms, where relatively low temperatures are required for infection control and indoor air quality of sterile environments.
• IAQ and material toxicity. Chemicals such as phthalates, Bisphenol A, halogenated flame retardants and other substances can pose serious health hazards, especially in medical environments with young children, the elderly, or immuno-compromised patients.