It’s important to consider some specific ways architectural design impacts healthcare. Having the right layout can increase staff efficiency and make patients feel more comfortable during their stays. Here are four layout and design tactics that should be considered when planning the construction or renovation of a hospital.
The U Or C Layout
Very popularly employed in areas such as the Intensive Care Unit, the U or C layout can help nurses and other staff members easily monitor multiple patients. The concept is to have the hospital rooms formulate the shape of a U or a C around the nurse’s station. When nurses can easily see all the rooms in their department, they can respond quicker and identify issues that patients may be having. The main principle to understand in planning the layout of your hospital is easy access for the professionals, for patients, visitors, and potentially emergency responders.
Glass Doors to Patient Rooms
One easy design alteration that can help to improve patient care is having glass doors installed over traditional wood ones in patient’s rooms. This can allow the medical staff to easily have a view into patient rooms so they can respond quickly to issues that arise. This also allows for a clear line of sight for patients to see out into the hallways and other areas of the hospital so they don’t feel so confined to one space. It’s a good idea to consider bringing an architect in to look at the various lines of sight for the rooms to ensure door placement is appropriate for staff efficiency. Remember to consider the patient experience as well. Bed-ridden patients will benefit from lower windows and line-of-sight planning that focuses on a lower viewpoint.
One of the biggest problems that medical staffing and patients run into when it comes to a hospital room is making space for the equipment. Medical equipment takes up a lot of space and can make a room feel more confined than it actually is. By utilizing ceiling-integrated equipment, such as IV poles, it can open up necessary floor space in the room. This will allow the patient to more easily maneuver throughout the room without having to worry about equipment.
Use the Three Area Design
When it comes to a hospital room, there are three main groups of people you need to consider. These are the staff, the patients, and their visitors. Each should be given designated areas in each room. Start with the staff area at the entrance to the room which should include things like counters and cabinets filled with necessary supplies. The next area is the patient’s area where their amenities like a bed, sink, and television should be placed. The last area is going to be for visitors and should be placed in the back of the room. There should be comfortable furniture and similar items for visitors.
Improving patient and visitor experience within a hospital doesn’t always mean that you need to innovate new processes to increase your quality of care. Simple design and layout changes within a hospital can make all the difference in how a patient experiences their stay. Consider thinking about these layout and design tips when doing your next remodel.