How Hospital Design Influences Patient Health and Satisfaction

Feb 17, 2017

hospital patient room

The modern hospital is changing. New high-tech devices are making their way into the hands of doctors and nurses, who are using them in innovative ways to better treat and care for patients. But as hospitals become more technologically advanced, administrators are also turning to a more simple solution for patient health and satisfaction: hospital design.

Everything from the layout of a hospital to the color of the walls, windows, furniture and accessories within each room have been shown to affect patient health and the overall satisfaction with their stay.

How Hospital Design Helps Patients Heal

Citing multiple studies compiled over the years, an article in the Harvard Business Review concluded that design modifications to US hospitals had a significant impact on how patients heal. Drawing from numerous studies and research found that newly designed hospitals:

  • Had fewer infections spreading among patients: the result of changing from shared to private rooms in the ICU.

  • Produced therapeutic benefits: by adding windows with views of trees and gardens to rooms.

  • Reduced pain in patients: by allowing young patients to listen to music or stories of their choosing.

  • Released patients earlier: by redesigning maternity wards to make it easier for "coupling" between mothers and newborns.

How Hospital Design Increases Patient Satisfaction

While patient health and satisfaction have always been priorities for hospitals, the recent linking of reimbursements to HCAHPS scores by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has caused hospitals to seriously rethink the design of their facilities in an attempt to improve patient satisfaction. More than 86 percent of hospitals have said that "patient satisfaction is very important" in driving design changes to health facilities.

HCAHPS scores are based on seven key issues:

  1. Communication

  2. Noise levels

  3. Information about medications

  4. Discharge information

  5. Cleanliness

  6. Responsiveness

  7. Pain management

These issues almost perfectly coincide with the top complaints made by hospitals patients, making them the ultimate deciding factor in patient satisfaction. Hospitals can address noise levels in private rooms with better acoustics. They can also address the issue of cleanliness and responsiveness through better staff training, but the other four issues all merge into one: patient communication.

Hospitals have recognized that by using custom dry erase boards, they can address the issue of patient communication by streamlining the process. Using patient-centered whiteboards with custom fields, nurses and doctors can quickly and simply convey discharge information, medication schedules and a variety of other care-related topics with ease.

Studies have shown that using patient whiteboards results in “improved satisfaction with the hospital stay overall. They have also concluded that they help patients learn:

  • The name of their physician

  • Their estimated discharge date

  • Treatment goals

Better Design. Better Healing. More Satisfaction

Hospital dry erase boards will add to the already established effects that hospital design has on patient health and satisfaction. To learn more about the whiteboards we create at VividBoard, download our healthcare catalog. For pricing and other inquiries, don't hesitate to contact our team today.