There has been significant research conducted that demonstrates the influence that architecture can have on the mental and physical well-being of patients recovering in healthcare facilities.
According to Bryan R Lawson, the use of Evidence-Based Design, which incorporates empirical knowledge of human behaviour and scientific method, has the ability to reduce treatment times, the consumption of medication by patients and levels of aggression, as well as create an environment that supports better sleeping patterns and calmness.
Some important findings show that while the additional capital required to dramatically improve healthcare conditions is relatively small, the need for optimal conditions to support their recovery is critical.
Busy environments are bound to be noisy and hospitals are no exception. Noise in hospitals has been steadily rising since the 1960s. The rampant noise found in modern hospitals are caused by a variety of sources such as patients, staff, medical alerts and other lifesaving technology, making hospitals unable to meet the desired acoustic levels recommended by the WHO.
However, by using the correct materials, busy hospitals can provide patients with great indoor acoustics and privacy, supporting them in their recovery. For example, a study of 416 patients has shown that quieter environments can reduce hospitalisation periods.
The power of natural light and patient healing
In addition to the importance of acoustic comfort, substantial research has also shown that daylight can positively impact a patient's well-being, improve recovery time, reducing mortality rates as well as pain and stress. Choosing products with a high light reflection can assist in drawing daylight further into a space.
Sometimes overwhelming to navigate, healthcare facilities should be as easy to navigate as possible. Designing a hospital to be inviting and cosy can positively affect and reduce the amount of time spent by patients recovering. The use of colour in healthcare facilities is often used to guide the user but it is also proven to have a positive impact on a patient’s recovery.
Hospitals treat a wide range of illnesses and it is necessary for all areas of a hospital to not contribute to the risk of spreading infection. As healthcare providers are accountable for the indoor environment where patients are treated, proper sanitisation can help decrease healthcare-associated infections. Effective hygiene and cleaning in hospitals can reduce the five to thirty per cent of patients that contract, on average, at least one infection during their stay in a healthcare facility.
Not all building materials can withstand the stringent cleaning methods needed in a hospital, making it so important to select a product that can not only withstand most types of cleaning, but that also don’t contribute to the spread of microorganisms.