There are various presentations on research as well as new ideas with regard to the improvement of the hospital design as well as care’s quality. The quality of a health care design in terms of the physical environment may influence the patient medical results as well as the quality of care. A significant drive for the mounting international consciousness of the design of health care facilities has been growing scientific proof that particular environmental design approaches which can enhance improved result while other strategies can degenerate patient health (Devlin & Allison). This reflects a shift in the mainstream medical community from the narrow pathogenic model of disease and health, to the direction of a broad view that includes placing emphasis on experiences that are health-enhancing. The customary pathogenic perception implied that major need that is placed on health care facilities ought to be interpreted narrowly as the lessening in disease risk exposure. The new broad perspective in the field of medicine calls for a strong emphasis on both the psychological in addition to the social needs of the patients, along with conventional economic concerns including functional effectiveness in the management of care actions and design of the health care buildings.
In most situations, the discussions on how to cut down costs in health care have neglected the health care building, the physical environment where the patient care takes place. Health care design entails more than selecting the appropriate wall colors or the materials. In the instance where it is done in the correct manner, as well as responsibly, the design and planning of the health care facilities has the capacity of impacting on the safety, as well as the activities of a particular organization. The changes that take place in the health care physical facilities provide actual opportunity for improving the safety of patients and workers, as well as the quality of services. There is a renewed interest among health care facilities to place emphasis on their design, which makes them to be considered as ‘therapeutic conditions.’ The therapeutic value of health care facilities is associated with their physical and social design (Maynard, Eric & Joan). They provide benign environment for the promotion of patient recovery as well as healing. In consideration of the latest designs of health care facilities, Dunn, Theo & Rose (1) states that the law on health care reform places emphasis on both value and the improvement of quality. This paper presents a methodical assessment to some aspects of health care services and their contribution to both the health as well as safety of patients. The conception of healing environments argues that the physical surroundings of the health care setting can promote the therapeutic process as well as patients’ sentiments of well-being.
Therapeutic design: Health care facilities include a wide array of different types, ranging from small to fairly simple medical hospitals to large, compound, as well as costly hospitals for both teaching and researching purposes (Devlin & Allison). Large health care centers might entail all the supplementary types of health care that are at many times independent facilities. The design of a health care facility puts across a message to people who attend it such as the patients, workers, visitors, vendors, as well as volunteers. The therapeutic design of a health facility as well communicates a stream of signs concerning the organization in addition to the medical care that provided. During the creation of a therapeutic environment, every person who is involved in the design team such as the engineers, architect, and interior designer, are accountable for the use of the influence of design in coming up with solutions that will influence both the staff and patients in a positive way. There are different definite design criteria that are under study or which are being utilized.
The finishes, signage, as well as artwork are required to be cautiously decided on, well coordinated, in addition to integration. Considerate design is able to help in ensuring that the appropriate first impression is created as well as sustained. The design that is adopted by health care facilities is administrated by a lot of regulations as well as technical necessities. It is in addition influenced by many needs and pressures that are less defined (Dunn, Theo & Rose).
Evidence-based design: Possibly, the most prominent depiction of the effect of buildings on people came from Winston Churchill: “ We first shape the buildings, and these buildings will eventually shape us (Maynard, Eric & Joan).” The Center for Health Design asserts that Evidence-Based Design refers to the process of making decisions on the subject of the built environment on reliable research so as to realize the best feasible outcomes. Evidence-based health care design provides a secure as well as therapeutic environment for patient care in addition to encouraging family participation. It promotes effective performance of the hospital staff and is also curative for workers who are under stress.
Currently, there has been a mounting interest on conception of evidence-based design since it moves from the wide-ranging notion of particular designs on productivity, patient morale, as well as patient outcome. Evidence-based design arises from the acknowledgment that the physical environment has the capacity to have a quantifiable influence on the well being of the patients, particularly in health care. According to Zborowsky & Mary, an appropriately designed environment is a crucial component of care. Significantly, evidence-based design is concerned with attempting to lessen the stress which experience during their stay in the hospital environment. In addition, evidence-based design is important in reducing the errors in medication, and also the average length of stay in the hospital (Devlin & Allison).
Characteristic matrix: Matrix management in healthcare facilities refers to a method of supervising an organization(s) (such as hospitals) by means of a series of double-reporting relationships rather than a traditional linear administration structure (Devlin & Allison). Contrary to the manner in which most organizational structure organize managers as well as employees through function or product, the matrix management brings together the functional as well as product departments into a two authority system. The term “matrix” comes from the representative structure of the matrix management system, which is similar to a rectangular arrangement, or a grid of functions.
Among health care organizations, the typical organization structure takes the form of functional organizational structure. The main characteristic of this form of structure is its pyramid-shaped hierarchy that defines the responsibilities that are carried out as well as the main management positions that have been assigned to those functions (Dunn, Theo & Rose). For instance, large organizations such as the hospital systems or academic medical organizations are likely to encompass a deep vertical structure that reflects the organization’s different levels of administrative control. Another characteristic that is linked with this functional structure entails a firm chain of command as well as the line of reporting that makes sure that all the communication and assessment f tasks are performed in a linear command as well as control setting.
Lighting needed for each space: A hospital contains a number of specialized rooms. There is also specialized lighting as well as HVAC considerations that exist for every kind of space.
Patient Rooms: the lighting that is provided in patient rooms ought to be designed so that it meets the needs of the patient as well as the care giver. The patient ought to be able to control the amount of lighting by use of the integrated window-shading as well as day lighting systems (Dunn, Theo & Rose). The care givers also need to examine the lighting at torso level so as to facilitate patient assessment. Studies show that the presence of LED lighting in the patient rooms is beneficial to both the nursing staff and the patients.
Operating Rooms: lightning is a very critical aspect in the operation rooms, and lighting in these rooms is going through a fast technological change. Currently, the operation rooms are equipment-intensive, high quality, consistency, long-life, heat reduction and energy consumption are significant lighting characteristics. Some of the biggest hospitals opt for the use of LED operation room system. The deep LED lighting is especially important to surgeons who have to carry out operations in deep cavities.
Hospital Support Spaces: Often, many hospitals have large kitchen, storage, as well as laundry spaces that have for a long time been using T12 fluorescent lighting. However, this lighting is very energy inefficient in comparison to the modern products. As a result, health care facilities ought to think about replacing the T12 lighting so as to reduce energy cost and maintenance (Maynard, Eric & Joan).
Natural light study: Light is crucial to the functioning of human beings in that it facilitates us to perceive things as well as carry out activities. However, it is as well critical since it influences human beings both psychologically and physiologically. Many studies have documented the essence of light in the reduction of depression, decrement of fatigue, enhancing attentiveness and treating illnesses such as hyperbilirubinemia in young children (Walshe & Judith). Furthermore, the presence of windows within the work environment as well as access to daylight has been associated with an increase in work satisfaction (Ulrich).
Natural light in health care facilities is a very significant aspect that has various influences. In this case, natural light finds its way into a hospital building through the windows as well as skylights. Sunlight refers to electromagnetic radiation in terms of wavelength range, and which may be absorbed by the photoreceptors that are found in the eye. It provides a balanced spectrum of colors that have components in every part of the perceptible wavelength range. Natural light impacts the health and performance of human beings through facilitation of the performance of visual duties, influencing mood and perception, control of the circadian system of the body, as well as enabling direct absorption for vital chemical reactions in the body (Ulrich 2).
Natural light is significant in the reduction of errors in the hospital environment, particularly for the nurses and doctors. The work setting that nurses as well as physicians is very stressful as they are required to carry out an array of complex tasks such as charting, filling prescription, along with performing other crucial patient care duties. Insufficient lighting and a hectic environment are probable to compound the weight of stress, which may lead to errors. Therefore, whereas health care facilities should always be supplied with adequate lighting for the purpose of surgical operations, there is a need for incorporating a greater utilization of natural lighting as well as a more strategic lighting (Dunn, Theo & Rose). The joint use of these lighting has the capacity of accelerating patient recovery and improve the productivity of the work environment.
Effect of Environmental Characteristics on Health Results: Sunny Rooms- sunlight is known as the primary source of natural light and which has an influence on the outcome of the health of patients. There are findings from two studies that increase the likelihood that when the rooms of patients face the direction of sunshine, as compared to cloudy or dull conditions, there is fostering of outcomes that are more favorable (Silvis 1). These two studies were carried out in a hospital that is located in Canada, which is on the northern latitude with extensive winters and fairly few hours for daylight. The first study found out that patients who were being hospitalized for serious depression had relatively short stays when they were assigned to sunny conditions, in place of dark places. On the latter study, patients suffering from myocardial infarction demonstrated reduced mortality when they were kept in rooms that had exposure to sunlight (Fijan & Sonja). On the basis of the first finding that sunlight-lit rooms seem to lessen depression, there was a speculation among the researchers that the means that account for the reduction in mortality involving the patients with myocardial infarction was as well depression mitigation. With regard to employees in health care facilities, it has been found out that staffs have a preference on working in areas whose illumination is from the sunlight instead of cloudy conditions. However, the response by the employees and the patients is different (Maynard, Eric & Joan).
Health Care Facilities- Textiles: In relation to other objects that go into healthcare organizations such as those that are used for floors, and walls, the fabrics that are used as furniture seem to have a secondary consideration. Consequently, furniture fabrics might not get the consideration they are worthy of. Fijan & Sonja defines textiles as a representative a regular material that are found in health care facilities, and it is, therefore, significant that they do not act as a tool for the spread of pathogens to patients in a health facility or even the employees. However, they are still an significant element of any health care facility. The following are the basic factors that are important while selecting furniture fabrics to be used in health care centers:
Durability: There is different types of standards that are used for durability. It is not unusual for a long-lasting rating covering of the office chair to be used in auditorium cushions that calls for a much different as well as higher rating. A manager in a health care facility may consult with the jobber and select a fabric that is appropriate for an office chair but inappropriate for the auditorium seating. The manager ought to research the subject sufficiently so as to ensure that he is makes an informed decision.
The fundamental standard for the health care industry is referred to as "double rubs," which is the number that illustrates how long a material is going to last. In this industry, about 30,000 double rubs is regarded as heavy duty, but most of the manufacturers strive to obtain from 50,000 to 100,000, which depends on the usage as well as protection in opposition to wear and tear.
Commercial Code Ratings: One of the commercial code rating aspects in the textiles or fabrics that are used in health care facilities is the requirement for fire safety. The Consumer Products Safety Commission is the body that has the setting the standard for the textiles used in health care organizations such as hospitals. The type of fabric recommended may vary from one state to another. The fabric that a health facility selects should be in adherence to both the local as well as state requirements.
Flooring material: There is a growing body of knowledge that provides the benefits for patients when different kinds of flooring materials such as carpets as well as hard or glossy materials are used in health care facilities. However, there is an increase in suggestions that carpets are a superior flooring material from the viewpoint of particular patient-centered thoughts (Maynard, Eric & Joan). Elderly patients tend to walk more effectively and efficiently; that is greater speed and long steps, on floors that have been carpeted in comparison with vinyl surfaces (Jones & Bartlett). According to Joseph, he found out that the family members, as well as friends to a patient paid more and longer visits to health care centers when the patients’ rooms are covered with carpets in comparison to vinyl composition flooring (1). These findings substantiates the assumption that carpet covering in patient rooms, along with possibly waiting areas, may enhance improved patient results through an outcome of increasing social support from those who are visiting. The study as well revealed that most of the patients have a preference on carpet flooring to vinyl flooring for motives like slip resistance as well as perceived comfort. However, most employees in this study favored vinyl composition flooring, 83%, particularly to the increased ease while cleaning up spills (Jones & Bartlett 2).
Selecting Paint Colors: The determination of the shades of paint that are to be used in painting a particular space ought to be carried out with a lot of considerations for both the type of facility, the department being painted, as well as the people who will be making use of it. Lack of proper consideration may lead to for instance use of bright colors in unnecessary areas. There are different types of process that are necessary during the selection of the correct color scheme. Depending on if the facility is a hospital or if it is a nursing home, this can offer a basis of determining whether a specific color of paint is suitable. However, there are particular colors that are highly recommended in various health care setting. In this case, there is a need for a balance of both the warm as well as cool colors. The cool colors have a tendency of being more calming and bring a sense of peacefulness.
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