Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital of the 21st Century

Sep 01, 2004

In this project, research teams from Texas A&M University and Georgia Tech combed through several thousand scientific articles and identified more than 600 studies—most in top peer-reviewed journals—that establish how hospital design can impact clinical outcomes. The team found scientific studies that document the impact of a range of design characteristics, such as single-rooms versus multi-bed rooms, reduced noise, improved lighting, better ventilation, better ergonomic designs, supportive workplaces and improved layout that can help reduce errors, reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce pain and drugs, and improve other outcomes. The team discovered that, not only is there a very large body of evidence to guide hospital design, but a very strong one. A growing scientific literature is confirming that the conventional ways that hospitals are designed contributes to stress and danger, or more positively, that this level of risk and stress is unnecessary: improved physical settings can be an important tool in making hospitals safer, more healing, and better places to work.

Roger Ulrich
Xiaobo Quan
Craig Zimring
Anjali Joseph
Ruchi Choudhary
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The Center for Health Design

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