Form + Function
By Bob Kehoe
So much of the focus today on the dynamic changes occurring in hospital interior design centers on aesthetics and patient comfort. And, in many respects, that’s a shame. For all the tomes that have been published on how hospitals are offering hotellike settings, comparatively little attention has been paid to the dramatic improvements in form and function of the patient environment.
This installment of Interiors is devoted to addressing this injustice.
Buying into Green
From the obligatory cathode ray tube television to the once-pedestrian furniture that inhabited patient rooms, a radical transformation is taking place. High-definition, flat-panel TVs are quickly emerging as an important tool for patient care. The enhanced resolution has been a boon to facilitating patient education and Internet display.
The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, for example, has integrated its education system offered through patient televisions with the institution’s electronic medical record. The result: All videos watched— whether prescribed by the nurse or requested by the patient—are automatically recorded in the education system’s reporting process.
Elsewhere, manufacturers are expending incredible energy and resources in developing furniture that meets the needs of all types of patients and caregivers. Chair lines developed for cardiac patients and orthopedic patients are just a couple of examples of this trend.
And in what is among the most positive developments in the health care built environment, hospitals are implementing an ever-widening array of so-called “green” products and strategies in patient care spaces that are environmentally friendly.
As you peruse this supplement, you’ll find reports on all of these trends, proving once again that health care interior design is about more than good looks.
Associate Publisher Health Facilities Management
This article first appeared in the October 2008 issue of HFM magazine.
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