Today I want to comment a very interesting post by Stephanie Baum in Medcity News. What if you designed a hospital room attending to patient needs? The post describes how NXT Health (a very interesting nonprofit organization for research and design in architectural healthcare: worth visiting its web) organized a design collaborative of 35 companies to design a 400-square-foot prototype at DuPont’s Corian Design Studio.
The distinctive point that patient and caregiver needs had to be in the center of the design: “Every design decision in the futuristic acute care patient room was made to enhance the patient and caregiver experience. The room integrates hardware components such as a computer screen and iPad to improve sanitation. When the compartments are closed, UV lights would be used to sanitize them. It also provides easy storage”.
True these futuristic hospital rooms are more expensive the current ones, but current hospitals and health systems are more designed to react acute cases (heart attacks, accidents, etc.) rather than to deal with chronic diseases, which are becoming prevalent. For that reason there is a tendency of healthcare systems to support healthcare at home (outpatient care) rather than in hospitals (inpatient care). For that reason 2020 it is to be expected that there are less hospital rooms, but better designed”. The full Medcity post can be read here.
Involving patients in clinic design in Spain
Of course far away from this first class design, but this reminds me of a patient center design for a clinic in Spain, where facilities where not only designed from the patient point of view, but directly involving patients in the clinic design.
The architect team and the doctors worked hard in the design together with some former patients: materials, furniture and decoration came out of these work and nowadays, the first thing what new patients say is “what a beautiful clinic”.
A patient even “invented” a stretcher that could be converted into a chair, so that after light operations with local anesthesia patients have a more comfortable and less clinical feeling. Besides it is easier to handle. The acceptance is very high. Later we learned that there are similar hybrid devices in Belgium.
This co-creation project produced in higher patient acceptance, but it is not an in depth patient insight work that is necessary when designing services, optimizing clinical processes or building entirely new commercial models. To get this insight about patient needs, there is a specific methodology called precisely Needs®, we will write about in another post.