Impact of Hospital Infrastructure Planning on Patients
Expectations of patients and their care-takers on healthcare continue to increase .This demand needs adequate management in order to enhance patient outcomes. Understanding these expectations can improve patient satisfaction levels and provide trustful care. The physical environment and its surroundings have a tremendous impact on health, healing and safety. Therefore all healthcare facility plans must be designed with the explicit goal of enhancing patient comfort This calls for architects to develop a set of facility planning and design recommendations and principles that guide hospital facilities
Hospital Infrastructure Planning(HIP) essentially tackles this requirement. By introducing safety‐driven measures and technical innovations into the facility design process of hospitals, it makes significant contributions to patient centric services.
- Due to rising costs and more financial responsibility in healthcare sector, patients are behaving like consumers when making health care decisions.
- Many patients are not satisfied with their health care experiences during hospital treatments and stays due to infrastructure constraints.
- Today’s patients are technology savvy and expect more information, convenience and a higher degree of service than what many hospitals currently provide.
- Futuristic hospitals must not merely be patient-savvy but must also be capable of meeting their untold expectations to provide a holistic aesthetic surrounding with personalized healthcare.
Hospitals are no longer dreaded as stressful unavoidable places accompanied by feelings of discomfort, nausea, pain, medication and fear. HIP impacts patients positively by aiding in the following aspects of Hospital Design to ensure a delightful stay during treatment.
Location, proximity to healthcare needs and accessibility with adequate transportation facilities are major factors for patients in choosing hospitals. Therefore HIPs should ensure that the patients and their family are able to go to the hospital easily for normal routine check-ups and emergency services. It is equally important that the hospital promotes a tranquil healing environment away from the chaos of demanding traffic, noise, pollution and has safety.
Size, here, refers to number of beds and wards the hospitals have, to accommodate patients. Patients with minor ailments and financial problems may choose small hospitals. But generally patients choose large size hospitals with broader spectrum of healthcare services.
HIPs need to do intrinsic planning because hospitals are the most complex buildings which thousands of people visit each day .The number of vehicles is also increasing exponentially. Designing parking spaces that houses maximum vehicles in close proximity is therefore important .Also, closeness of parking space to main hospital building is important .If not , sufficient transportation facility should be given with wheel chairs and stretcher services. This design must also plan for flow of traffic at both entry and exit points, have adequate staff support, well-marked sign safety and security measures and good ventilation to avoid patient discomfort.
Patients need a good cheerful atmosphere for recuperation. Hence HIP should ensure that their hospital stay is made comfortable with carefully chosen durable furniture and decors, art-work, lightening, carpets and wall coverings that is well arranged and matching ambience. It should also be surrounded by greenery and gardens to provide a serene healing atmosphere.
Patients should not be compelled to run around for every need .Therefore, all hospitals should have certain basic standard facilities and could be a one- stop healthcare point backed with advanced systems for addressing various departments like diagnostic centres / laboratories, sample collection, imaging rooms, emergency/casualty handling, operation theatres, blood banks ,in-patient wards, out-patient services, ambulatory services, mortuary and hospitality services .Apart from this, patients require hygiene standards including proper sanitation, disinfectant and sterilization mechanisms, potable water and waste disposal.
Equipment Planning plays a crucial part of HIP and it should be a combination of traditional processes, unparalleled vision and unique resources with adequate and easily accessible provisions for their physical storage. This calls for thorough knowledge of medical devices and must be supported by reliable information about emerging technologies, product specifications, clinical guidelines, user-experience, hazards, standards and regulations. Examples of hospital equipment include anaesthesia machines, oxygen cylinders, ventilators, surgical instruments and angiograph apparatus.
- Focussing on patient comfort, privacy, efficiency and personal attention.
- Customizing patients rooms for positive impact.
- The rest rooms/waiting rooms/canteens/dormitories provided to patient care takers and visitors must be well equipped to make their stay comfortable.
- Making easy accessible entry exits points for immobile patients with provision for stretchers, wheel chairs, ramps and elevators.
- Providing colourful, child friendly atmosphere in Imaging Rooms and Laboratories to ward off fear and anxiety in young patients including infants and children.
HIP plays a remarkable role in healing patients and has a profound impact on saving human lives.