Photo credit: iStockphoto.com
Healthcare environments have more constraints than most, garner more attention than many, and have to account for more life-and-death variables than any other kind of environment you are likely to find yourself in. The stakes, the stress, and the rewards can be high.
A team at Herman Miller invited three architecture and design firms (HKS, OWP/P, and Perkins+Will) with established healthcare practices to a design charrette. They heard Roger Ulrich, the leading authority on evidence-based design for healthcare environments, describe the problems in healthcare design.
They listened to researchers from Herman Miller delineate the needs of patients, caregivers, and families. They created new ways to improve healthcare environments across a variety of scenarios. Above all, they confronted the surprising and sometimes alarming statistics facing healthcare professionals and the people who design environments for them. Here are some of those statistics, originally published for an article that first appeared in SEE magazine:
Nursing demand in 2020 = 2.9 million
Supply if the current rate of graduation for nurses stays the same = 1.8 million
Supply if 30% more nurses graduate = 2.1 million
Supply if 90% more nurses graduate = 2.7 million
57% of patients have negative comments about their room
24.8% of patients have positive comments about their room
65.2% of patients have positive comments about their nurse
17.1% of patients have negative comments about their nurse
75% of hospitals are operating or installing electronic medical records
16% of hospitals are planning to implement electronic medical records
Each year more than 2 million patients acquire nosocomial (hospital-related) infections at a cost exceeding $4.5 billion in the United States.
In 2004, 62% of patients discharged from hospitals were less than 65 years old. 38% were older than 65; this number projected to increase to 56% by 2030.
Nurses spend 56.9% of their time on patient-care activities and almost 28.9% simply walking from one place to another.
In 1985, fewer than 12% of surgeries required an overnight stay. In 1995, fewer than 7%. In 2005, fewer than 6%.
It is estimated that the total cost of fall injuries for older people was around $20.2 billion per year in the United States in 1994, and is projected to reach $32.4 billion (in 1994 U.S. dollars) in 2020.
Medical errors and hospital-acquired infections are among the leading cause of death in the United States, each killing more Americans than AIDS, breast cancer, or automobile accidents.
In high-acuity units, as few as one in seven staff members wash their hands between patients; 15-35% hand washing is typical; 40-50% is the exception.
“Environmental satisfaction” is a “significant predictor” of overall patient satisfaction, coming after only “perceived quality of nursing care and clinical care.”
Herman Miller Research 5.0
“The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital of the 21st Century”
Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., Xiaobo Quan, Center for Health Systems and Design, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, Craig Zimring, Ph.D., Anjali Joseph, Ruchi Choudhary, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, The Center for Health Design, September 2004