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What environmental influences related to health care may affect outcomes and quality within the orga

Two of the biggest buzzwords in health care today are now being applied to the way hospital rooms are designed — giving us the twin concepts of patient-centric design and evidence-based design.

How Does the Hospital Environment Influence Outcomes & Patient Satisfaction

Hospitals are moving away from traditional, clinically oriented design in favor of an environment that is more comforting and familiar to patients. For an idea of how this all comes into play, take a look at this infographic from the Wall Street Journal, depicting The Hospital Room of the Future.

Patient-centric design often highlights the role of nurses as frontline caregivers and streamlines interactions between the nurse, patient, and family members.

How Hospital Environments Affect Patient Satisfaction Levels

An example is nursing work stations that are strategically located at the entrance to patient rooms, instead of in a centralized location farther away from patients. A dynamic environment can also emphasize best practices in infection control — for example, by placing sinks and sanitizer stations at the point of use, and using a visual reminder like a light to prompt clinicians to practice good hand hygiene.

Organizational and environmental factors that affect worker health and safety and patient outcomes.

According to an article in Health Care Design magazinefurnishings can also have a big impact on hospital-acquired infections. In patient-centric and evidence-based design, furniture and surfaces are easy to clean and disinfect. They feature rounded corners, non-textured surfaces, and clean lines that offer pathogens and dust fewer places to hide.

Likewise, furnishings can be designed to minimize the likelihood of falls.

Factors influencing healthcare service quality

It included a rather controversial quote by a health economist who believes the demand for a hospital correlates more to its hospitality services than to quality of care. Of course, this point of view is the antithesis of nursing philosophy.

According to Karen Kapke, Ph. This is where evidence-based design comes into play: Patients face an enormous number of disturbances every day and noise is a common source of patient dissatisfaction.

Patient monitoring devices can also be designed to send an alert to a specific individual, rather than beeping and clanging in a patient room. In some cases, hospitals are moving away from traditional, clinically oriented design in favor of an environment that is more comforting and familiar to patients.

Health Care Design magazine recently featured this fascinating article about a facility in Alaska that brought in a cultural advisory committee to inform their design. They visited remote villages where native Alaskans live, in order to formulate a list of priorities not only for the health care needs of the community, but for the inpatient experience as well — an example of true patient-centric design.

Factors Affecting Medical Service Quality

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality AHRQ is also behind the concept of patient-centric design, stating that a move toward this model may improve not only patient safety and quality of care, but staff retention rates as well.

It compiled several research studies that back up this hypothesis and you can read a brief synopsis of them online. Are you interested in complex topics like health care policy and evidence-based design?

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