Improving Patient Experience and Outcome through Architecture
One cannot deny the positive impact that space, ventilation, and color of construction have on the user’s well-being. And when the infrastructure is of a healthcare establishment, the social impact of the built environment becomes paramount for better patient outcomes and smooth functioning of the staff.
Until a few decades back, the architecture of a healthcare facility and patient outcome were not related. But things have dramatically changed, and architects are transforming the way healthcare spaces are designed and constructed.
Gone are the days when bed occupancy was an important deciding factor for a hospital’s success. Obviously, many tried to accommodate as many beds as possible, thus reducing free space, proper ventilation, and light. Clutter makes one feel claustrophobic even under normal health conditions. Hospitals today prefer space over clutter for improved patient outcomes. These are the days when patient experience and patient outcome occupy center stage.
Realizing the role a building can play in the health of its inhabitants and the functioning of the staff, healthcare professionals and architects came together to provide the relevant infrastructure to its users.
Usability of space is critical for the staff to perform tasks safely, effectively, and efficiently. Hospitals need specialized areas for smooth movement of staff, patients, and the general public, for hospital equipment and machinery, for gadgets, operating, and diagnostic equipment.
The design of consulting rooms, operation theatres, ICU, acute care, ambulatory care, diagnostic imaging platforms, research facilities, laboratories, emergency departments, diagnostic rooms, blood banks, medical stores, cabins for medical professionals, staff rooms, general and specialty wards, special rooms, dedicated walking spaces, lobby, staff changing rooms, accounts, and administrative offices, surgical suites and many other facilities need to incorporate the rules of social design.
Besides, the overall ambiance to make the patient feel better, like ample light and appealing colors, is essential for healthcare architecture. The ambiance of a healthcare facility should be pleasant not only for the patients but also for the medical and non-medical staff of the hospital and the visitors.
A well-thought hospital design also helps mitigate and reduce the transmission of diseases through overall layout, patient and staff flow, and natural cross-ventilation. The COVID-19 pandemic enhanced the need for such well-thought designs and environments for improved patient experience and outcomes.
Some healthcare architects have created benchmarks with their designs that are known to have brought better patient outcomes. In our crusade to focus on healthcare architects, we handpicked a few who stood distinguished from the crowd.
Our latest edition of Insights Care — The 10 Most Trusted Healthcare Architecture Companies 2021, speaks about the thoughtfulness of architects exclusively designing healthcare spaces.
Read to know more about their work and the importance of hospital infrastructure for all its stakeholders.
Have a great read!