"It's Far Too Ugly for Me to Die in Here"
As explained here in great detail, prominent architect and designer Michael Graves--a former HEALTHCARE DESIGN conference keynote speaker also famous for his product design work for such outlets as Target--thinks there is great room for improvement in the design of hospital rooms. One would think that Graves knows of what he speaks; after all, in addition to his designer's eye, he has lived through a bout with a rare infection that has left him bound to a wheelchair, with months of rehab under his belt. Who better than Graves to say what is wrong with today's patient rooms?
"They didn't make big mistakes," Graves said in the article linked here about various designs he observed in hospitals and rehab centers. "They just made the most frustrating mistakes you could ever imagine and made your cure more difficult. Your room should make it easier for the doctors and the aides and the patient. But instead it does just the opposite."
But is Graves right? Given the state of most hosptial rooms and rehab facilities across the country, he likely is. While the tenets of evidence-based healthcare design and other best practices may be common to us, the HEALTHCARE DESIGN magazine crowd, what about the owner/operator of a small facility in Kansas or Oklahoma? Has the message that good design breeds good outcomes really reached the entire healthcare community the way it should have? Or are we just preaching to the choir by showing architects, designers, and planners how to design proper patient rooms when we should be trying harder to convince owners and operators to incorporate these changes in their facilities?
It's great to have a champion as prominent as Graves preaching change. Hopefully, the right people are listening to him.