Thoughts That Go into Designing a New Hospital

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 10:18am

 

In recent years, a great deal of thought has gone into designing a new hospital. In the old days, patients had very little privacy. Rooms were often shared and nothing divided the beds but a sheet. In such situations one patient would often disturb another patient and conversations could be overheard. There was no privacy between doctor/nurse and patient. Every word that was spoken could be overheard by the room's accompanying patient. With such a lack of medical privacy, new hospital designs either feature singular rooms or rooms with hard partitions. At this time, single rooms have become the normal for most newly built hospitals.

Hospitals have also replaced their drab, often sterile appearing, interiors for bright colors, fish tanks and even murals that catch the eye. Designs have started to focus on creating a warm, and comforting, environment for patients. Soothing colors help relax and even uplift the patient's overall mood, which can, and does, help with the healing process.

Even nurses and doctors are getting on board with recreating the hospital's environment by throwing away blue or grey scrubs and opting instead to focus on bright colors, or designed wear such as Koi Scrubs to create a happy hospital atmosphere. In days gone by, doctors and nurses often felt that wearing colorful uniforms would somehow lower their reputation, but studies have found that not to be the case. A happy pair of scrubs can put a smile on a sick child's face. Even adults will feel better to see dank colored uniforms replaced by the patterned, designed and colorful scrubs worn by their health care providers.

Modern hospitals are now centered on space and often boast up to 53 million square feet of it. With so much space, an open feeling is created which a feeling of freedom and can in the recovery process. 

Bringing in natural light with abundant windows is also another element that hospital designers are taking seriously. The windows often look out on nature scenes such as lavish gardens and even water features such as fountains or trickling streams. The sound and sight of water helps to sooth the patient and those visiting the hospital. Giving a patient a room with a view helps make the patient’s hospital stay more relaxing and easier to bear. 

The often sterile hallways of older hospitals have also been replaced with new hospital walls that boast a non-stop stream of varying artworks. Often the art is ever changing at the hospitals and each month new pieces are brought in. Newer hospitals have managed to combine superior health care with an affinity for good art. Patients and visitors often have a feeling that they are visiting a top of the line museum instead of a hospital. The varying art also gives patients something to enjoy as they walk the halls to gain back their strength during the recovery process. 

Such upscale hospital designs are becoming the norm and patients are reporting happier stays in such facilities. The cheerful colorful scrubs, the bright colors, abundant sunlight and varying artwork all help the mind relax so recovering is a happier road.

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