Oprah Buys In to the Fable
Evidence-based design may be a well-known concept in the healthcare design world, but to the mainstream, it is still a bit of a foreign concept. All that may change now that none other than Oprah Winfrey, the queen of all media, has included a short feature on Fable Hospital 2.0 in the September 2011 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.
The piece, "Room for Recovery" by Assistant Editor Lauren Dzubow, gives the basic EBD rundown and explains the concept of Fable 2.0 via an illustrated spread (by Lobulo Design) of an idealized hospital room and a series of dialogue boxes explaining the "evidence" behind these features. Much of it may be old hat to us, one can easily imagine the average O reader finding these features and findings downright revelatory (as they likely were to all of us, once upon a time). Highlighting such EBD mainstays as the private room, views to nature, and daylighting, the piece is an excellent primer for a mainstream audience, well-visualized and informative--the text even quotes specific research studies to back up the findings, including a 2003 study published in HEALTHCARE DESIGN's sister publication Nursing Homes (now known as Long-Term Living).
As to whether this short print piece will lead to a large-scale embrace of the EBD concept on a national level, well, I suppose we'll just have to wait and see; we may need to see Roger Ulrich or The Center for Health Design's President and CEO Debra Levin jumping up and down on Oprah's couch for that to happen. But in the ongoing battle to inform the American public of what to expect from their healthcare delivery systems, information is power, and there is no one more powerful out there than Oprah.