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In The News: Future of hospitals: Revamping to Meet Patient Needs

Photo courtesy Flickr user Nick Dawson

As technology expands, its use in hospitals increases dramatically. In the future, the use of technology will allow hospitals to center their facilities around patient needs instead of the needs of doctors and nurses.

Instead of simply going to the closest hospital, an increasing amount of patients search online to find the best possible care. This has inspired hospitals to rebrand their facilities in order to attract patients.

A recent article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains the special touches designers and architects are considering as they create new hospital spaces. In it, they highlight the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.

Chu Foxlin is an interior hospital designer for TK&A Architects in Cambridge, MA. Through her work, Foxlin has recognized that it is important for hospitals to cater to patients.

“In the past, hospitals were designed mostly with the needs of doctors and nurses in mind,” said Foxlin in the Post-Gazette.

University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital is an outstanding example of giving patient’s needs first priority. To create a more engaging environment for the children, Foxlin and a team of designers created the theme “Passport to Discovery” when the hospital was built in 2011. Each floor was redesigned to reflect a particular habitat such as the grasslands or the desert. Every detail, from patient passports to compass directions to patient amenities, align with the theme. “You walk away remembering the place,” Foxlin told the Post-Gazette. “It’s a branding exercise.”

In addition to the increased patient- centered care, many hospitals are revamping their facilities to create a healthier and more sustainable environment.

Hospitals around the nation are emphasizing the use of the stairs versus the elevator. Furthermore, hospitals want to be able to sustain themselves should a natural disaster strike. Many hospitals have made changes including using water and electricity more efficiently and installing power generators on the roof.

Experts like Foxlin believe the future for hospitals will be new designs and new technology to better provide for patients needs as well as improvements to better help the community.

To read more about the future of hospitals view the full article here


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