Posts tagged ‘patient rooms’
I was enraged, I would say is not too strong a word, at seeing several very “bland” hospitals that had opened recently having spent all that money to create a stark environment, with all white walls and very little to provide a few moments of delight for anxious patients. In one of these hospitals touted as a “total healing environment,” the maternity unit did not look any different than the standard med/surg unit and there was nothing even in the baby nursery to cue this is where babies are born, to celebrate that event. So I was outraged and I started writing this as a manifesto to say, “This can’t go on; people have got to be aware of this and not let this keep happening.” This is a regression to pre-Planetree hospital aesthetics from the early 1980s.
As to what to include, I firmly believe that we need to pay more attention to areas where patients spend their time and where they are “captive.” As an outpatient, you can decide, for instance, if it’s a depressing experience, to go someplace else for care. But once you are admitted to a hospital for surgery or whatever your condition is, you are there and, in a sense, you’re a prisoner. You can’t just pick up and leave. This is where people are really vulnerable.
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.