How healthcare facility design can impact patient recovery rates, Health News, ET HealthWorld

by Ravideep Singh

As civilization battles an unrelenting threat of viral upsurges, healthcare providers across the nation are beginning to recognize the importance of healthcare analytics and other crucial metrics such as recovery rates. patients. Subsequently, it became clear that having access to these metrics can help optimize patient turnover, which would allow for greater resilience in the face of adversities such as Covid-19. Recognition of patient recovery rates as a crucial metric is still in its infancy in India. In contrast, the west has a much higher degree of data and awareness about this phenomenon, which can potentially help us understand its relevance in the Indian subcontinent.

As several evidence-based studies suggest, patient recovery rates are a vindication of several factors, including high-efficiency infection control, penetration of natural light and views to the outside, controlled acoustics and friendly caregivers. Interestingly, the design of healthcare facilities plays an important role in the success of these factors.

According to the National Guidelines of Infection Control, 30% of all intensive care patients in developed countries are affected by an HAI (nosocomial infection) during their hospital stay. The percentages are expected to be even higher in low- and middle-income countries. In addition, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that the built environment of healthcare facilities – their layouts, materials, equipment and furnishings, and therefore healthcare architects, play a critical role in preventing the transmission of Pathogens. IHFG (Indian Health Facility Guidelines) recommends a minimum distance of 2.45 meters between beds to maintain asepsis – an environment free from pathogenic microorganisms. Additionally, evidence-based design (EBD) studies have also shown that patients in single rooms are at a significantly lower risk of acquiring HAIs. Additionally, anterooms with efficient mechanical systems that comply with ACH (air changes per hour) can minimize the spread of infections. Similarly, another study suggests that strategically located sinks and hand sanitizers (particularly near patient areas) promoted handwashing among caregivers – enabling better infection control within the hospital. establishment. Apart from the innovation and disruption of medical technology, the design of the medical institution also has an impact on the patient’s recovery. A 2018 study, “The Effects of Natural Light on Length of Hospital Stay” (PubMed), found that patients with beds near windows had significantly shorter hospital stays than patients with beds near windows. patients with beds near the door, in a sample of 87,351 patients. . Optimal natural light and outward views have been found to stimulate positive immune responses in patients, which speeds recovery. EBD studies have also found slower recovery rates in west-facing patient rooms, possibly due to a patient’s psychological and circadian responses to the optics of a setting sun. Additionally, larger windows with potential nature views promote biophilia as well as the therapeutic effects of nature.

  • Acoustics and caregiver stress and satisfaction

Environmental acoustics is one of the most prevalent stressors in healthcare facilities today. The ramifications of poor acoustics affect both patients and caregivers. In hospitals and respite environments, a patient’s recovery is highly dependent on the quality of their sleep. Patient recovery becomes difficult when functioning without adequate noise control measures or consideration of acoustics and noise transfer issues, as sleep is more disturbed. The disturbances and poor quality of sleep ultimately lead to a noticeable reduction in healing. Interestingly, controlled acoustics also minimize caregiver stress, allowing them to better focus on individual patient needs, eliminate medical errors, and deliver quality care. The use of appropriate materials and finishes, such as sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, along with strategic spatial planning, can reduce stress and overall satisfaction for patients and caregivers.

The design of the built environment, especially hospitals and medical facilities, is arguably one of the most important factors in health, safety and patient experience. Today, architects of health are using the principles of evidence-based design along with lessons from the pandemic to push the boundaries of conventional hospitals to create safe and healing environments.

Ravideep Singh, Associate Director, Creative Designer Architects

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely those of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily endorse them. shall not be liable for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

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