A primary goal of Healthcare design is to improve the staff’s capacity to provide high-quality care. Yet, the potential for the architecture itself to impact a patient’s recovery and the overall effectiveness of a facility is often overlooked!
Fortunately, this is quickly changing with the increasing prevalence of “healing architecture.” The core belief beyond healing architecture is that the built environment has the power to affect patients’ health and psychological well-being.
What is a healing environment?
Within the context of a healthcare facility, healing architecture depicts an environment that supports patients through the stresses that develop during sickness, medical visits, and hospitalization. It infers that Architecture can make a real difference in how quickly patients recover or adapt to certain acute and chronic conditions.
Features such as bright rooms, natural light, large windows, biophilic design, and good views can enhance the process of healing by providing patients a mental and physical boost!
healing architecture tactics
The aim of every healing environment is to better engage patients in the recovery process. To that end, these spaces are designed to be nurturing and therapeutic to reduce patient and family stress. To promote recovery, healing architecture tactics include:
- Eliminating stressors within the environment such as excessive noise and low levels of privacy.
- Keeping patients connected to the world outside of the facility by providing outdoor views and other natural features such as gardens and water features.
- Giving patients a higher sense of control by giving them more choices. This could be privacy versus socialization, levels of light, style of music, and more…
- Make social support the path of least resistance by providing appropriate seating in patient rooms, privacy for small groups and overnight accommodations in patient rooms.
- Offer positive distractions. This can include aquariums, internet connection, fireplaces, and more…
The Benefits are Undeniable
According to a study conducted by the Environmental Design Research Association, during the weeks that posters of realistic nature scenes were hung in the lounge of an acute psychiatric clinic, the administration of injections to manage patients who exhibit aggressive behavior was 70% lower than when the walls were blank! These results also apply and are even improved when patients are in contact with actual views of nature!
Healing architecture starts with a clear focus on improving the patient experience and outcome. In order to bring healing architecture to your facility, it’s important to adopt a comprehensive planning approach that listens to feedback from the end users in addition to the design, construction and operations teams. Learn more about how CMBA Architects’ approach to architecture helps make this happen.