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Health & Inner Wealth

Delving even deeper into interior design and wellbeing, from a healthcare perspective

It is indicated through research that the surroundings of healthcare facilities can affect medical outcomes. A well-made setting backs healing progression. Elements of design such as natural light, clever colour choices, relaxing music and sights of nature contribute to a more comforting milieu which normally reduces anxiety. Findings reveal how crucial both visual and practical aspects are to the design of healthcare spaces.

Maggie’s Centre – Glasgow Gartnavel   Image Credit: Nick Turner

According to The Center for Health Design healthcare design is changing for the better, and we only see this trend gaining momentum. They are a non-profit organization making use of evidence-based design in the built environment to improve the quality of healthcare. The diverse community consists of interior designers, architects, product manufacturers, healthcare professionals and executives, researchers, educators, and students dedicated to enhancing healthcare amenities.

Maggie’s Centre – Oxford   Image Credit: Philip Durrant

EBD for healthcare facilities

“Evidence-based design, or EBD, is demarcated as the process of grounding choices about the built environment on trustworthy research to attain the best possible results.[1] A proper definition would be “Evidence-based design is a process for the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence from research and practice in making critical decisions, together with an informed client, about the design of each individual and unique project”.[2] The existing definition spans several disciplines, including architecture, interior design, landscape design, facilities management, education, medicine, and nursing.”

The Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) program were introduced in 2009 by the Center for Health Design to deliver internationally recognized endorsement and promote the use of EBD in healthcare building projects, making EBD a recognized and credible approach to improving healthcare outcomes.[1]The EDAC classifies those experienced in EBD and teaches about the research process: identifying, hypothesizing, implementing, gathering and reporting data connected with a healthcare project.

Medical developers and healthcare experts are more and more aware of the need to produce patient-centered settings that can assist patients and family in dealing with the tension that goes together with illness. Along with this consciousness is the ongoing supportive investigation and evidence through several studies – some have already shown both the inspiration of well-designed environments on positive results in patient health, as well as negative effects and longer hospital stays resulting from meagre design.

Many studies have proved enhanced patient health outcomes through environmental trials. By exposing patients to nature, it has been recognized to yield considerable dropping of pain levels. Restricted research proposes that patients experience less pain when exposed to higher levels of daylight in their hospital rooms. Improved sleep in patients has been revealed through methods such as reduced noise and single-bed rooms, along with natural daylight in rooms to help maintain circadian rhythms.

Factors also contributing to successful healing areas comprise effective ventilation systems, good floor layouts & ergonomic design and accessible basins.

Other important fundamentals are also considered which include shape, form, texture, colour, sound, odour, taste, touch, suitable artificial lighting, good acoustics, nature, spaciousness, accessibility, and comfort. Design elements should work together in harmony for the optimal appearance, atmosphere and serving purposes.

Design professionals are confronted with spaces and places to be created for optimal healing circumstances. An environment favourable for healing purposes promote physical and emotional wellbeing, smooths adequate treatment delivery and supports necessary relationships to make it effective.

The wellbeing of caretakers and how they function in their workplace will also have an impact on patients. A less stressful, healthier, safer, smart-designed healing zone results in a better place to work where fulfilment, personnel morale and efficiency are enhanced, along with medical errors being minimised.

Maggie’s Centre – Swansea   Image Credit: Nick Turner

A good example of facilities where health design has been applied is the cancer-care centres at Maggie’s Centres. It is named after Maggie Keswick Jencks who believed that buildings have the capability to elevate people. The Newcastle Maggie’s Centre in the UK has certain characteristics and elements which help make it successful:

> Homely, unlike clinical environment, feels domestic

> Garden / nature visible from inside

> Sensory stimulation

>  Natural materials like wood, leather, wool

> Abundant natural light

> Restful entrance

> Interesting and colourful textiles

> Enchanting, human experience

Maggie’s Centre – Newcastle  Image Credit: Philip Durrant

If you have not yet, I hope you also realise now that interior design is not just about beautiful luxury and aesthetics. The power of the human spirit is recognised in healing design!

Have you read this about the value of your wellbeing?

Reference / Inspiration:
Maggies Centres
Health Design
Wikipedia (Evidence-based design)
BBC – Future – Hidden healing power of design
Cancer.net (Architecture recovery … design affect health)

One Comment

  1. Have you read this? https://ombredesign.studio/whats-it-worth/


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