Role Of The Physical Environment In The Hospital Of The 21st Century

Jan 01, 2004

This once-in-lifetime construction program provides an opportunity to rethink hospital design, and especially to consider how improved hospital design can help reduce staff stress and fatigue and increase effectiveness in delivering care, improve patient safety, reduce patient and family stress and improve outcomes and improve overall healthcare quality.

Just as medicine has increasingly moved toward “evidence-based medicine,” where clinical choices are informed by research, healthcare design is increasingly guided by rigorous research linking the physical environment of hospitals to patients and staff outcomes and is moving toward “evidence-based design” (Hamilton, 2003). This report assesses the state of the science that links characteristics of the physical setting to patient and staff outcomes:

What can research tell us about “good” and “bad” hospital design?
Is there compelling scientifically credible evidence that design genuinely impacts staff and clinical outcomes?
Can improved design make hospitals less risky and stressful for patients, their families, and for staff?

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

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