Last week, I wrote a post asking how close we are to the patient room of the future envisioned by the Patient Room 2020 project 10 years ago.
Several people commented, including Tracey McGee, who wrote that "the patient room of the future will ideally be one's bedroom."
Perhaps. But that assumes that all medical procedures will be able to be performed on an outpatient basis or at home. That day is still a long way off.
Yet, it's clear that many aspects of healthcare are moving outside the hospital. Many patients who need medical care can be treated at home, especially those with acute and chronic conditions.
Evidence-Based Design in Practice
But most homes are not designed to accommodate acute patient care. For those who can afford (and want) to renovate, The Center for Health Design (CHD) has come up with a "Healthcare at Home Design Insights & Strategies Tool."
The latest in CHD's portfolio of interactive patient room diagrams, the Healthcare at Home tool breaks the room design into 14 categories, with design strategies for desired outcomes.
This is evidence-based design in practice, folks.
Universal Design Approach
Many of the Healthcare at Home design strategies come from best practices for hospital patient rooms and senior living resident rooms. Merge them, and you get a universal design approach.
It's pretty simple, really. I mean, we know this, right?
I'm not sure why CHD's tool doesn't include the bathroom. Okay, technically, it is another room. But no one designs a patient room without also designing a bathroom.
Unfortunately, not everyone could afford to create a patient room in their house that has all the suggested features looks as nice as the renderings BSA Lifestructures has created for CHD's Healthcare at Home tool. So in a sense, it too, is a patient room of the future.
The point is, healthcare can be provided at home. And design can support better outcomes.
Designer Cynthia Leibrock has long been an advocate for home healthcare. She and Debra Harris offer a great checklist on the "Seven Basics of Housing for Home Healthcare" in their book, Design Details for Health.
CHD also offers a checklist to support universal design strategies for aging populations in the home/community, healthcare facilities, and workplaces.
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