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Patient experience hits home for designer

By Healthcare Facilities Today
January 27, 2014

It often takes a personal experience to really drive home the key issues of healthcare design, according to a blog on the Healthcare Design magazine website

Designer Sheila Cahnman, AECOM, recently accompanied a close family member to the hospital for a five-hour surgery and overnight stay — classified as outpatient surgery.

"The moment we drove on the campus of the well-regarded community hospital, we realized that the directions were unclear and we’d arrived at the wrong entrance. Walking the length of the campus to the exterior entry marked “Outpatient Surgery,” we learned that outpatient surgery registration had moved to the main lobby," she wrote

Once there, she found no acoustical privacy and a poorly lit and arranged waiting room

"I observed as physicians delivered news; most talked to families in the middle of the seating area, while one took them out into the hall and another used the consult room. At 4 p.m., with five families still waiting for news, the surgery waiting volunteer announced she was leaving and that the waiting family members should answer the phone if it rang."

The lack of good fundamental hospital design and planning — such as clear wayfinding, patient privacy, and adequate family amenities— impacted us, as well, she wrote.  

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