Shepley, Kolakowski, Ziebarth, and Valenzuela-Mendoza assessed how the COVID-19 pandemic will influence the design health, hospitality, and senior care environments. They share that “An extensive literature review was conducted, the results of which were distributed to a group of experts . . . specializing in health, hospitality and design. After receiving their input, expert focus groups were conducted. . . . Healthcare facilities will require additional space, access to the outdoors, service hubs, and flexibility in garage and use of outdoor space.
Features fostering friendliness
Healthcare design-related research continues at a brisk pace. Some significant recent findings are applicable at healthcare facilities as well as in other contexts.
Noble and Devlin studied patient experiences in psychotherapy waiting rooms. They found via an online survey that “waiting rooms that were welcoming and comfortable as well as large and spacious rated higher for the quality of care and comfort in the environment anticipated by the participant; those that were cramped and crowded rated lower.”
Wichrowski and research partners investigated how nature imagery influences rehabilitation patient experiences. They share that “In settings where patients have high degrees of medical acuity and infection control is a major concern, exposure to the benefits of real nature may be precluded. . . . In these settings, the presence of nature imagery may provide benefits which positively impact patient experience. . . .
Gola and teammates studied how 20-30 minutes of contact with nature influences wellbeing. They learned that “The Scientific Community . . . has already demonstrated the importance of greenery and nature on the psychophysical well-being of people and, in a moment of emergency, contact with the nature can be therapeutic and quite influential on the mental health of staff subject to stress.During the lockdown, an Italian multidisciplinary working group promoted an experience-based survey . . .for measuring the psychophysical well-being of hospital staff.. .
Lim and colleagues evaluated how the design of healthcare facilities influences perceptions of teamwork. They “measured teamwork perceptions of staff members and patients at four primary care clinics providing team-based care. Visual access to staff workstations from both staff and patient perspectives was analyzed using VisualPower tool (version 21). . . .the visual relationships among staff members and those between staff members and patients have significant associations with overall perceptions of teamwork.
Eijkelenboom, Oritz, and Bluyssen studied links between environmental design and health-related issues. They determined via data collected through onsite visits and a survey distributed to people working in various sections of Dutch healthcare facilities that “building-related aspects that were associated with dry eyes and headaches were work in an office versus consultation room and the absence of windows to the façade and corridor.
Blending biology, psychology, sociology, and design
Much relief after much stress