Hospitals across North America have seen an increase in the number of patients being admitted each year. As these numbers rise, hospitals are also seeing more children patients being included in this population. A visit to the hospital can be intimidating for any adult let alone a child. Hospital staff and management are working more closely than ever with their healthcare interior design team. Together, they have identified the need to increase children’s comfort levels during their hospital stay to reduce anxiety and stress levels. Numerous appointments for testing and procedures leading up to a diagnosis can be a scary experience for any child. Each hospital visit can compound feelings of anxiety, stress and unpleasant feelings for both children and their parents. Healthcare interior designers are making big changes in this regard to improve and provide a positive experience for younger patients that will eventually change a child’s outlook on hospitals. By looking through the eyes of a young patient, designers and hospital staff can understand how to make their stay more comfortable by creating bright, colourful and inviting areas in the hospital.
As patient requirements are being fine tuned, medical interior design is also becoming a growing need. Instead of walking into a cold and sterile room where patients undergo MRI or CT scan testing it is now being transformed into a “solar playground” where children can wear bright colourful clothing and pretend to be an astronaut which prepares them for their “journey to the moon” as they board the “spaceship” cleverly disguised aka as the MRI unit. The technician will also be garbed in bright colourful clothing pretending to be the “mission control operator”. These project trials have proven to be quite successful and many children’s hospitals in North America are adapting to this hospital trend. This is especially helpful for tests requiring children to sit still for approximately 10-30 minutes.
Eliminating worry and fear
If a child cannot be calmed down on their own sometimes this will mean having to sedate the child by calling an anesthesiologist and administering medication through an iv prior to testing. By creating an imaginary play like environment, this provides a calming environment which will reduce the chances of having the child getting medicated during the test procedure. Instead, children pretend they are boarding a space ship or vessel and going on a far away voyage while being in a “spaceship”. Results have shown fewer children having to be sedated or medicated when placed in a more relaxed and inviting setting that they can familiarize with. Studies have shown these friendly play environments have reduced children’s symptoms of fear and increased patient intake resulting in more accurate test results.
Hospital interior designers are carefully considering these issues considered these issues for children and are creating a more comfortable hospital environment for younger visitors. Whether they are coming in for blood work or special testing, hospitals are taken these factors into consideration and creating warmer healthcare environments for children.
Some important factors now being considered in pediatric hospital environments:
An inviting and comfortable place
The warm and inviting playland gives a feel of warmth and a sense of comfortable feel to the children and makes for a productive visit while obtaining accurate test results with patients feeling confident and worry free.
As a service provider for the healthcare community, WDI is excited to learn about these initiatives as health care is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the patient. By incorporating bright colours, animated images on the wall and a 360 view of what is perceived as a playground while disguising testing equipment this results in a win/win situation. The result is an environment that is no longer cold, sterile and frightening but more fun, comfortable warm and inviting. By designing healthcare facilities with patient’s needs in mind, designers can provide facilities that are more responsive to all visitors and facilitate everyone’s experience of a healing environment.
Another example hospital interior designers are implementing are thinking about the patient first. As younger patients require more attention and activity based programs. They are more likely to cooperate and engage in procedures while being inundated with an activity. The new generation of younger patients prefer to keep themselves occupied with an activity when undergoing testing. This helps to aid in relieving stress when undergoing an examination.
Adapting to a new environment
Younger patients have a harder time adapting to new environments especially within a hospital. It is considered to be a cold and uninviting place and the fear of uncertainty also lingers.
Designer’s want to understand the end-user’s experience. The medical staff want to understand what patients experience on their initial visit to improve their visit or stay. As a result, the goal of reducing patient’s fears can be achieved.
As specialists in medical office and healthcare interiors, WDI is committed to sharing emerging trends in the industry and sharing knowledge with like minded colleagues. From medical research laboratories, long-term care facilities to doctor’s offices and hospitals, we offer premium services in design, construction and furniture. Call us today at 1-883-304-3114.