Diagnosis Of Design Essay

2049 words - 9 pages

As a result of growing evidence regarding the effects of environmental characteristics on the health and wellbeing of people in healthcare facilities, more emphasis is being placed on, and more attention being paid to, the consequences of design choices in general hospitals. A general hospital is a large medical facility where patients with many different types of ailments are given care. In the United States there is a movement to improve the interiors of medical facilities by basing planning and design decisions on this evidence of beneficial features to achieve the best possible patient, staff and operational outcomes constituting evidence-based design. As a result these constructed or ...view middle of the document...

It is important to know that the term “healing environment” does not mean that the environment is actually curing the patient. Instead the environment is indirectly aiding to the patient’s overall experience and therefore their psychological welfare. Patient-centered care is one way that hospitals are achieving the goal of creating healing environments along with interiors. Patient-centered care supports active involvement of patients and their families in the design of new care models and in decision-making about individual options for treatment. Planetree, a leader in patient-centered care, supports that the design of a facility must implicate these ten components of patient-centered care: human interaction, access to information, family involvement, nutrition, arts and entertainment, touch, spirituality and diversity, integrative therapies, and healthy communities (13). It is imperative that the physical environment and staff of the hospital work together in harmony in order to offer the best care to a patient. Implementing patient-centered care without a well designed environment is not as effective as implementing both elements. A true healing environment must encompass the environment as well as patient-centered care.
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role of technology and the built environment as part of the holistic treatment of patients. Discussions about the importance of the built environment for the patients’s health and well-being and the provision and support of healthcare extend at least as far back as 400 BC with Hippocrates and the 19th century with Florence Nightingale (3). The recent movement towards evidence based design in healthcare started with Ulrich, who compared the positive effect of views of natural scenery on the recovery of patients from surgery to patients in similar conditions who were exposed to a view of a brick wall. Ulrich showed that in comparison with the wall-view group, the patients with the tree view had shorter postoperative hospital stays, had fewer negative evaluative comments from nurses, took fewer moderately strong and strong medication, and had slightly lower scores for minor post-surgical complications. Since then, the impact of the physical environment of the hospital on the well-being and health of the patient has received extensive academic attention. Consequently, this resulted in a creation of spaces considered to be healing environments (3). Now healthcare designers realize that they have the control to use design as a healing tool, whether to improves efficiency and results or to calm anxiety through aesthetic, and relaxing surroundings (7).
The Affordable Care Act is a groundbreaking issue that is influencing the healthcare design movement. Politics aside, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act will transform just about...

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