Hospital design is incorporating features that reflect the concept of healing rather than sickness. Older people make up a significant proportion of patients, and that means we need more age-friendly approaches to care. Physical environments are getting slip resistant floors, indirect lighting and large print wall clocks and calendars. Some hospitals are replacing harsh florescent lighting with systems similar to day – night cycles. An article on the AARP website discusses this and how hospital design is about healing.
Other ideas are a piano at registration, walking paths and gardens – making the place feel more hospitable rather than hospital. It’s about customer convenience and comfort. And this must help when people are in pain and feeling stressed. Many visitors feel stressed and anxious in hospitals and they aren’t even sick.
As for coffee bars in waiting areas – the sound of grinding beans in coffee bars adds to noise levels and the smell can be nauseating. Small things can make a difference to comfort and reducing stress levels.
Other changes involve telehealth services which can be delivered to patients at home. For more on this see the AARP article.