Motivation for Writing Jain Malkin’s Latest Hospital Design Book?
I was motivated to write my latest hospital design book, “A Visual Reference to Evidence-Based Design” after seeing three hospitals in a row that had been completed in the last couple of years and touted as the “ultimate in healing environments” and when I hear that, of course, my expectations are very high.
In all three cases when I personally toured the facilities, I was surprised to see that the design features and nice design amenities stopped in the lobby and, once I passed through the lobby, it was as if I were in a 1970s or 1980s hospital in that I saw a lot of white walls and a very institutional appearance. Except for the computers and monitors that were omnipresent, it was like stepping backwards in time.
When I moved into the nursing units, I sometimes saw headwalls in patient rooms that had the required medical gases and devices but nothing else in the way of a design and, on the footwall, have we learned nothing from Planetree in the 1980s about providing a place for flowers and plants on the footwall where patients can see it, a place to put greeting cards? It doesn’t have to be expensive to do something like that, but I saw so many rooms in these new hospitals that had nothing on the headwalls or footwalls.
When I saw the third such hospital, I felt like the news anchor in a movie a number of years ago called Network, in which he raises the window and shouts, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” And that was the genesis of this book; it started as a polemic, a manifesto about hospitals where all the bang is in the lobby and landscaping and nothing follows through into areas where patients spend their time 24/7―that’s regarded as “back of the house” but it certainly isn’t—it’s the front of the house for the patient.
That was the motivation for the book but, as I started to write, the book took me on a journey to many places exploring evidence-based design and approaches to dealing with the infection control crisis.
(Excerpts from an interview with Hospital Design expert, Jain Malkin regarding her book, A Visual Reference for Evidence-Based Design, published by The Center for Health Design, 2008; View the video – Jain Malkin – What motivated you to write the book?)
Entry filed under: Hospital Design. Tags: A Visual Reference to Evidence-Based Design, evidence based design, footwall, footwalls, greeting cards, headwalls, healing environments, hospital, hospital design, hospital design book, hospitals, infection control, institutional appearance, jain malkin, medical gases, motivation, Network, nice design, nursing units, patient rooms, Planetree, polemic, visual reference, white walls.