Finding Evidence of Culture part 3

A more global view of evidence-based design, formulated into a strategy that reflects the business plan and operational goals of a healthcare organization rather than emerging from a specific project can be an agent to change the culture of that organization.  Currently, there is a blurring of the understanding of value and cost in the mind of many organizations.  This makes it more difficult to understand and invest in evidence-based strategies because looking beyond first costs is often an interpretive process.  Analysis of long term costs and benefits can be interpreted differently by different departments, further muddying the ability of an organization to justify expenses with less than obvious and direct payback.  So I have identified three major areas that most organizations are likely to say are important areas of concern and connected these "business plan" goals to actual design decisions:

1.       Creating a healing environment for Patients
a.        Design measures that stimulate the senses such as natural light, employing color, texture and pattern, acoustic measures, water features, aromas/smells, visually interesting components that provide areas of focus such as artwork or architectural/lighting features.
b.       Humanizing the scale to provide visual cueing, assist in way finding, animating spaces with activity to make them feel less intimidating. Breaking down large spaces into smaller sub spaces, providing a variety of lighting and furniture options.  Concealing clinical elements when not in use, providing a sense of identity for individuals and elements that draw from the local culture and community.
c.        Customization and control to provide patients with the ability to adjust light levels, display personal objects.
d.       Accommodating needs be providing respite areas and places of solace/spiritual comfort.
2.       Creating a calming environment for Families
a.        Welcoming and easy to navigate facility with well thought out areas for drop-off/pick-up of patients, convenient parking and access to departments
b.       Child friendly with play areas and areas of respite
c.        Supporting communications needs with caregivers, other family members, and ability to work from hospital rooms. Ability to be a partner in care.
3.       Creating a supportive environment for Staff
a.        Balancing privacy and accessibility through proximities, acoustic measures, location and availability of resources (centralized vs. decentralized, lean designs).  Enhancing communication and collaboration among staff.
b.       Separate public, patient and staff circulation while promoting inter and intradepartmental adjacencies.
c.        Provide resources and amenities such as access to the outdoors, natural light in work spaces, quality break rooms