- Inpatient Room Design
Revamping Healthcare Design
- "There is no excuse for getting those patient rooms wrong, time after time after time...They didn't make big mistakes. They just made the most frustrating mistakes you could ever imagine and made your cure more difficult. Your room should make it easier for the doctors and the aides and the patients. But instead it does just the opposite." -Michael Graves
- This project was focused around a central idea: that the design of hospitals should begin to provide better healing environments for patients. What this essentially meant was that instead of designing and worrying about the complexities of an entire hospital, focusing on the inpatient room, the place where patients spend the majority of their time in the hospital. Every patient can attest that going to the hospital is not a pleasant experience, and a hospital should do its best to ease the stress placed on a patient. The design of this project sought out a way to give patients a pleasant environment to heal in, while still allowing doctors and nurses to work efficiently.This project was published along with a group of projects as case studies to be used for health care designers. The architecture firm SRG Partnership in Portland helped publish these projects.
- The plan, located above, shows a group of three inpatient rooms together, with a nurse observation station in-between two rooms. The room met the demands for having plenty of storage and a circulation space for a gurney and emergency staff to enter and tend to the patient. At the same time, the design was able to achieve a large span of window to maximize daylight in the space, and also achieve a much smaller room size dimensions than the typical inpatient room, resulting in a cost savings bonus on square-footage while giving a higher benefit to the patient.
The layout of the space came out of the following identified needs that are essential for patients to feel comfortable in a hospital:
- Orientation of the patients bed should face the window, so that he/she has a clear view out.
- A sleeping nook for visitors, so that visitors can be out of the way of hospital staff, and be oriented in a manner that allows for the patient to have privacy.
- A higher degree of spatial variety through ceiling heights and well defined zones of uses.
- Patient privacy from observing hospital staff, while still allowing nurses the ease of checking in on a patient.
- A more rich color palette in order to make the place feel more like a "home-away-from-home." This also includes the removal of all "medical imagery" and the hiding of medical equipment within wall thicknesses, so that a patient feels less like a lab rat.
- Maximum daylight should penetrate the space, giving the patient direct access to the outside world.
Many of these elements are diagramed below, using a basic floor plan from a recently built hospital, comparing the layout of the two. This way, a better comparison can be made between the two, and one can even visually see how the new design is much smaller in square footage, while providing immense benefit to the patient.
- The exploration of the inpatient room was done using various models at extremely large scales in order to study details and get a better picture of the realities of the space, without having to worry about the inaccuracies of computer modeling. Photos were then taken within the model, showing several views.
- The view above is taken from beside the bed at the entrance of the bathroom looking into the room. The nook for visiting family and friends is on the left and the bed is on the right. As can be seen, there is a large daylight exposure and a great connection to the outside. A unique feature is given to the top of the glazing, which refracts the light and causes colors to wash across the ceiling as the sun rises and falls, giving patients a form of "natural animation."
- View from the patients bed, showing that the main view is of nothing but the window, giving a strong connection to the outdoors.
- The view as a nurse enters the space. The patient is given complete privacy from passer-bys from the hallway, where as the observation nurse work station - which is only a few steps in from the hallway - allows nurses to check and make sure that patients are okay, without violating their privacy.
- View of the bed at night, showing ambient lighting so that patients who cannot sleep have enough light to read and enjoy their environment, without being blinded by an over lit room. The hospital equipment is hidden in the wall behind the bed inside wooden cabinetry.
- When doctors and nurses need to tend to the patient and need more lighting, a task light is turned on overhead of the patient, allowing for them to work efficiently.
- A view from the nurse observation station, showing that a nurse has full view of the patient and can observe them from a location that doesn't intrude on privacy. Also shows how the room is bathed in a warm light from the large amount of day light exposure and the colors of the room.
- A view of the light shelf and the play of light from the upper glazing, refracting and bouncing light deep into the space. The light shelf also allows for light to bounce further into the space.
- An axonometric of the room, showing the overall layout of all of the elements, and how they are able to function within an extremely small space, and provide everything that the doctors need and what the patients will want in a comfortable environment.