A patient friendly interior will become the standard

On 21 January 2016

Hospital INTERIoR: The patiënt as architect

Imagine you need an important treatment and you yourself can decide the atmosphere of the treatment room. That gives a completely different feeling in comparison to a cold treatment room. The hospital interior offers a lot of opportunities to make patients feel comfortable. By delving into the perception of patients I discovered more and more details for the ideal hospital interior and the layout of the clinic.

A good hospital interior means good health care

For me as an interior designer to be employed by a hospital often surprises people. But when you think about the importance for patients to feel comfortable and how much impact the interior has on feelings, it's actually not that weird. I acquired a lot of inspiration in the US. There they take the creation of a feeling like home to the next level. There are healthcare institutions where clients can bring their own pet. In the Netherlands a patient friendly hospital interior has also become more mainstream. For some healthcare insurers it's a part already of the general quality demands to improve the interior of the treatment rooms.

tHE patiEnt FRIENDLY SPACE 

An example of patient friendliness is the radiation room in the AVL. You should be exposed to radiation as little as possible. That's why around the irradiator there is kind of a labyrinth of walls. The patient has to walk through it half naked and alone, staff stays safely behind the walls. Radiation will never become fun, but we want to make it as comfortable as possible. In the room images of choice can be projected now. The shielding is of a warm kind of wood and nature sound or classical music can be heard. The hospital floor can also be adapted to the right atmosphere. 

Customizing the treatment room 

We have the client chose which atmosphere the room should have themselves. Only offering this option helps already. It reduces the feeling of just having to undergo it all. Self-determination is very important. The hospital is no curing factory. Together with the patients we can create a whole new world in the healthcare system.

Peter Vanca onced worked in healthcare as nurse and OR-assistant, changed careers to become designer and now is interior architect in the Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Hospital.

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