2018-01-23

Healthcare Design: How the Environment Can Affect Patient Outcomes

When it comes to California healthcare design, patient-centered environments are only increasing in popularity. This significant shift away from doctor-centered concepts is inspired by mounting evidence linking health outcomes with the physical environment. Taking a closer look at this connection may lead to healthcare spaces designed to effectively decrease patient stress.

Roger Ulrich’s theory of supportive design states that there are three ways a healthcare setting can reduce patient stress:

1. By providing a sense of control over the environment,
2. By facilitating social support,
3. And by serving as a positive distraction from some of the negative circumstances surrounding the patient experience.

It’s worth noting that cross-cultural studies suggest that “design affects stress differently according to a patient’s culture. In the United States, patients are more likely to respond positively to conditions with control and social support.” Essentially, that means patients experience less stress when they have ample access to support from family and friends. What might that look like? Imagine stress melting elements from windows, paintings and WiFi to an extra chair for visitors. The above examples are all relatively inexpensive investments with priceless results - improving the patient experience.

What else have we learned over the decades? Healthcare design that respects and enables sleep is essential. More and more overhead paging systems are now being replaced with personal alerts. Designs that promote good hygiene, such as sanitizer stations, are important to achieving more positive patient outcomes and experiences as well.

Here at Studio Design Group Architects we balance the demands of OSHPD 1 health care building code with the everyday needs of nurses and physicians with patients and their loved ones - all while emphasizing efficiency. Our plans are designed with real people in mind to create a space where optimal healing happens.

Connect with Studio Design Group Architects’ healthcare design professionals with the resources to make a positive impact on your project by calling (805) 541-3848.

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