Learning from the Healthcare Provider's Perspective
When designing a healthcare interior, we often have two primary clients—the patient and the healthcare provider. Developing solutions that satisfy this client base is our goal as designers, and it ultimately improves the patient experience.
HGA’s ongoing research through our Discovery Design Process™ has guided decisions with numerous healthcare projects. We’ve held extensive interviews with more than 1,500 patients and staff, all of whom have provided enlightening data.
One project where we used this process was the 10,000-square-foot Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Infusion Bay remodel in Los Angeles. We asked patients and staff, “What are features that would make you and your family members feel more comfortable when visiting the Cancer Center?”
Staff asked for “private space for the discussion of private matters.” They suggested the infusion chairs should have “some kind of privacy curtain or division, both for personal modesty and for communication with healthcare professionals.”
When we solicited their ideas for a “Supportive and healing environment,” staff opined “warmer, richer colors—not the stark white that lines much of the hallway now.”
We also asked “What’s important to you?” Staff noted “attention to both patients’ needs as well as staff space needs so that we can best meet the concerns of our patients.” Clearly, staff’s concern was creating an efficient work space so that they could accomplish their jobs—serving the patients.
Patients often mirrored staff responses while adding more personal requests, such as “cozy, comfortable and clean” space with soothing colors, natural light, privacy, and such simple conveniences as “a place to store personal items or set a cup of coffee.”
Based on research, we designed around these four elements:
The infusion unit is located in the lower level of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Daylight streams in from a narrow row of skylights. Softly backlit art panels installed along the upper portions of the east and west walls filter daylight deeper into the space.
Supplemental lighting synchronized to four-hour cycles evolves from rosy red in the morning to white at noon and eventually lavender at sunset, reflecting daylight’s natural gradations.
Both staff and patients asked for color. We chose to work with art panels. Each art panel depicts colorful images found in nature, selected to represent a sense of life, living, and looking into the future.
We added 13 private infusion bays with built-in partitions and movable shoji screens that respect the patients’ wellbeing.
Each bay includes comfortable seating, individual light fixtures, thermostat control, clock, storage for incidentals, a coat hook, shelving and—per request—a place to set a cup of coffee.
As we continue our research, we will review post-occupancy survey data to build upon our experience with the Infusion Bay.