Role of hospital infrastructure in quality healthcare delivery
Hospitals play an important role in shaping public perception of the performance of countries’ health systems. It is an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care. They are complex in nature itself. In hospitals, patients seek medical treatment and staff provides continuous support by creating a healing environment with the support of appropriate physical aspects.
The restoration of health and well-being has a positive relationship with the physical science. The principles of economic, social and ecological sustainability can be achieved without compromising the functionality of the hospital building through the proper balance of physical aspects (i.e. day lighting, window design, thermal conditions and others).
A healthy hospital environmental is found to have an impact on the quick recovery of diseases. Institute of Medicine identified that the structural elements affect quality improvement. Key elements include:
- Information systems for data collection, quality improvement analysis, and clinical communication support.
- An adequate and well-distributed workforce
- Organizational capacity to support emerging models of care, cultural competence in services, and ongoing improvement efforts.
In this global era, where the healthcare sector is rapidly corporatizing, there is a higher drive for the patient delight than patient satisfaction. Therefore, apart from professional expertise the physical infrastructure too plays an important role to deliver high-quality care at a reasonable price. Accessibility, efficiency and quality together constitute for an optimal hospital infrastructure from a societal perspective. Health system infrastructure improves effectiveness, safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness, access and efficiency. Inadequacies in health system infrastructure, limit access and contribute to poor quality of care and outcomes, particularly among vulnerable population groups.
- Maintenance of physical facilities
- Regionalization / siting
- Assessment of technology
- Adherence to external standards
- Manpower planning and recruitment
- Peer review activities
- Traditional post-hoc quality assurance
- Professional societies/research affiliations
Substantial quality interventions have given a new insight and scope for improvements in the structure of the hospital. Rapid technological advancement has paved way for the growth of intelligent infrastructural designing leading to the stronger infrastructure and effective use of resources that in turn involves in providing quality care services. To invoke a sense of a continuous process and creating an environment physically healthy and psychologically appropriate, “Healing Architecture” is adopted by hospitals. This architecture would indirectly contribute to the patient’s outcome such as shorter length of stay, reduced stress, increased patient satisfaction, therefore leading to the delivery of quality care.
To have an optimum level of comfort and care physically, socially and symbolically it is indispensable for a hospital to provide an environment which would heal the ailments. Proficient hospital design may lead a great business outcome, as patients are looking for quality care in a safe and healthy environment with a minimum cost.