This recent story profiles a hospital renovation at University Medical Center at Plainsboro, New Jersey, highlighting all the best features of new patient room design, as well as all the attendant challenges.
We monitor industry news, but love to share these stories when they reach the popular media.
Several hundred decisions, major and minuscule, common-sensical and arcane, went into configuring the [patient] room. Many of them may sound so obvious that one can wonder, financial and real estate constraints aside, why they haven’t always been standard. For starters, the rooms are singles; there are no double rooms. Research shows that patients sharing rooms provide doctors with less critical information (even less if the other patient has guests). Ample space is given to visitors because the presence of family and friends has been shown to hasten recovery.
Ditto the big window: Natural light and a view outdoors have been regarded as morale boosters since long before Alvar Aalto designed his famous Finnish sanitarium in the 1930s (a “medical instrument,” as he called it), bragging about curative balconies and a restorative sun deck.