THE IDEAL PATIENT ROOM
The patient room is one of the largest investments a hospital or a health facility will ever make, with the design decision multiplied dozens, even hundreds, of times. From optimizing patient well-being and comfort to saving administration money through the strategic use of materials and space allocation during construction, the decisions made regarding the patient rooms are pertinent to every person involved in the healthcare environment. As we all know, patient rooms are more than just a place for a bed and medical equipment.
Namely, if the patient has a more serious illness, it is very likely that he or she will need a separate room. Faivish Pewzner, Chief Operating Officer of the Americare Companies, NYC leading healthcare provider, says that its design and functionality directly affect not only patients and families but hospital staff and administration as well. By applying the principles of design to healthcare, you could not only create an aesthetically pleasing patient environment but create an atmosphere that changes caregiver behavior and improves patient outcome.
Nowadays, architects and designers, clinicians and patients, all understand the impact of space on healing, creating a body of supportive research. A number of studies clearly indicate that well-designed rooms often lead to increased patient satisfaction rates, fewer accidents, lower infection rates, shorter stays and even a decrease in pain medication.
For patients, the room is a healing space, a bedroom, and a dining room. For health professionals, it’s a workspace, while for family members, it’s a living room, and sometimes even a bedroom or office. According to Americare COO, Faivish Pewzner, by designing patient rooms that encourage healing, equipped with modern conveniences and a quiet respite, patient perspectives on care improve and bad experiences become less common.
Friends and family expect to feel engaged and welcomed in their loved one’s hospital room. But far too often, tightly packed rooms aren’t equipped for larger family groups, overnight stays or even basic levels of self-sufficiency. Progressive health services like Americare run by Faivish Pewzner, understand that healing isn’t just for patients, but it’s also for family members. Valuable exchanges happen between patients, clinicians and family members but not always at the same time, so it’s important to consider design elements that foster communication. Patient rooms that encourage healing, provide modern conveniences and give patients a quiet respite, are often thought to improve care. Health professionals, patients, and family members are already expecting more personal, private and frequent communication, and the physical environment can impact the quality of those interactions.
For example, whiteboards are great for sharing vitals, staff changes and contact numbers for clinicians. They are also a great tool for clinicians to sketch and visualize information for patients and families. In this modern age, some health centers are already experimenting with tablets and apps to digitally communicate with patients and share information about their conditions, medications and lab results. Furthermore, this details can be shared on in-room screens in order to spark conversation and questions.
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