“Is This a Hospital or a Hotel?”

“Is This a Hospital or a Hotel?”

I don’t know how I missed this silly quiz the NY Times ran back in September as part of an article about patient amenities and hospitality influenced design in hospitals.

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In a highly competitive field, patients — sometimes now referred to as “guests” — appreciate amenities. The tactic works. “We found that patient demand correlates much better to amenities than quality of care,” said Dr. John Romley, a research professor at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics of the University of Southern California, who has studied the trend. That means that hospitals can improve their bottom line and their reputation by focusing more on hospitality than health care — offering organic food by a celebrity chef rather than lowering medication errors, for example.

The article provides very few real insights and completely ignores years of evidence that make s strong case for patient comfort as a measurable factor in a speedier recovery…but I must admit taking the “quiz” is enjoyable. I managed to get 11/12 – and the one I got wrong is a private “medspa” within a hospital so I don’t think it should count against me!

Dementia Village ‘De Hogeweyk’

De Hogeweyk

De Hogeweyk “Dementia Village” is a remarkably design-oriented facility for aging Dutch with advanced stage dementia. Located in the city of Weesp outside of Amsterdam, the facility houses around 150 residents in 23 small residential units with 6-7 dwellers per unit. Opened in 2012, the village strives to maintain a sense of normalcy for its residents and does so in large part through design. Caretakers wear street clothes. Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen’s master plan includes a Boulevard complete with grocery store, pub, restaurant, theater, and hairdresser. Particularly striking is the interior design throughout – there is no cookie cutter influence of a typical healthcare designer’s pragmatic please-everyone details. Instead, residents can pick from houses each decorated with a distinct and very residential feel designed to replicate a “genre” of lifestyle and create a link to the life they enjoyed outside of the village. These include homey, Christian, artisan, farming, “goois” or upperclass, Indonesian, and cultural. The restaurant and pub would not look out of place in downtown Amsterdam. The facility is owned and operated by a government-owned nursing home group called Vivium. There are also some good images available on the architecture blog Detail.

Jason Bruges Nature Trail installation for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

London based lighting designer Jason Bruges created the above interactive installation, made with over 72,000 LED lights embedded in a custom printed hospital-grade wallpaper, for a 165 ft long corridor leading to the operating rooms at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

From Bruges’s website:

“The brief was to design and install a distraction artwork helping to create a calming yet engaging route that culminates in the patient’s arrival at the anesthetic room. Inspiration came from the idea of viewing the patient journey as a ‘Nature Trail’, where the hospital walls become the natural canvas, with digital look out points that reveal the various ‘forest creatures’, including horses, deer, hedgehogs, birds and frogs, to the passerby…. The LED panels are embedded into the wall surface at various heights in order to be accessible to the eye levels and positions of patients traveling along the corridors. Across these digital surfaces abstracted ‘animal movements’ are recreated as interactive animated patterns of light which reveal themselves through the trees & foliage of the forest.”

Sol LeWitt at Einstein Medical Center

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ImageImageImagePhotographs via Newsworks

One of Sol LeWitt’s iconic wall drawings (#972) is on a 25 year long-term loan installed in a prominent corridor between the two main entrances of of the Einstein Medical Center in Montgomery, Pennsylvania. Einstein HealthCare Network President and Chief Executive Officer Barry R. Freedman was inspired after seeing a similar larger-scale loan at MASSMoCA, and connected to the LeWitt estate via a former patient and well-known modern art collector.  The 154 foot long wall drawing opened last fall after 27 days of installation by four local artists and two artist representatives from the LeWitt estate, executing the instructions left by the artist. The hospital’s own funds were off-limits to fund the piece, so its presence is thanks to a donation from the LeWitt estate. The particular piece was selected by Anthony Sansotta, the artistic director of the estate. Freedman touts the “Bright. Uplifting, cheerful” nature of the piece and notes that it’s display in a public space allows access to a caliber of well-regarded art by major artists not generally seen in suburban healthcare facilities…per the hospital’s press release:

Hosting a piece of art by the father of Conceptual art is consistent with how we’re working to transform healthcare in the region,” says Freedman. “It also represents our outreach to the community — this is a famous work that is now accessible to anyone.”

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TAMassociati & Emergency: Curry Stone Design Prize winners

A decade-long collaboration between two Italian non-profits, humanitarian architecture studio TAMassociati and medical NGO Emergency, has been recognized with the Stone Curry 2013 Design Prize, announced November 7th. Together, they have designed, built and staffed five healthcare facilities in Africa that have treated over 700,000 patients and an additional seven clinics in Italy. The facilities are conceptualized and designed to be sustainable, modern, and culturally sensitive buildings that allow healthcare to take place in safe and dignified environments nestled in dangerous and poverty-stricken landscapes.

The video is a must-watch. Here is a quote from TAMassociati co-founder Raul Pantaleo  and a few screen shots from to pique your interest.

“To build an outstanding hospital in the heart of Africa has meaning. For us it was an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on the profound sense of the word right, starting with the right to health…. But there should also be a reflection on the more ample front of rights, and particularly on the right to the environment, to what is beautiful, and to memory, as the necessary premises for a sustainable and pacific coexistence at local and global scales. With these principles in mind, we imagined the Salam Centre as a place that is hospitable, domestic, and beautiful, where the convalescent patient, almost always a victim of poverty and war, could feel what it’s like to receive treatment as a true subject of care, entitled to the fundamental rights that are too often denied on this continent.”

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Metropolis: A Culture of caring

The October 2012 issue of Metropolis Magazine includes an insightful article chronicling the unique considerations Western architecture firms must address when designing healthcare facilities for oversees markets. From the article:

For health-care designers working in far-flung regions, learning to patch the seams that split as  West meets East (and Middle East), is as important  as calculating volumes, systems, and energy loads.  In China, designers need to produce structures that integrate best-in-class Western technologies with time-tested traditional Chinese medicine. In India, developers want new hospitals to conform to the thousand-year-old practice of vastu shastra—the Hindu version of China’s feng shui. In the Islamic world, facility plans must include prayer and ablution rooms, along with gender-specific waiting areas.  And plans must be jiggered to ensure that not a single toilet in any facility faces Mecca.

Wish list: The Healing Presence of Art

Richard Cork ‘s The Healing Presence of Art, A History of Western Art in Hospitals, looks like an excellent publication, and the first of its kind. Published in March by Yale University Press, the publisher summarizes:

Fascinated by the astonishingly rich history of art in hospitals, the well-known critic and art historian Richard Cork has written a brilliant account of the subject. These works, which include masterpieces of Western art, have been produced from Renaissance Florence and Siena to the 20th century. Piero della Francesca made a painting for a hospital in Sansepolcro, as did Hans Memling in Bruges, Matthias Grünewald in Isenheim, El Greco in Toledo, Rembrandt in Amsterdam, William Hogarth in London, Vincent van Gogh in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, and Marc Chagall in Jerusalem.

The book’s sumptuous images offer a rich range of subjects, from Francisco Goya’s dramatic confrontations with suffering to Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s sublime, airborne celebrations of resurrection and heavenly ecstasy. Some, like Leonardo da Vinci’s incisive drawings, are based on uncompromising firsthand study of hospital patients. Others explore a redemptive world where Christ is born, orphans are rescued, and plague victims are given shelter. In this wide-ranging survey, Cork investigates how such artworks have been used to humanize hospitals, to alleviate their clinical bleakness, and to offer genuine, lasting pleasure to patients, staff, and visitors.

It is definitely going on my Christmas list.

“Nobody Goes to the Hospital for the View, but …”

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A small article in the New York Times last week highlighted a mural by Odili Donald Odita, recently painted on a drab wall at New-York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan.

The drab barrier – erected in 2010 a stone’s throw from patient rooms on the fourth and fifth floors to hide newer mechanical systems – presented such a dismal sight that nurses would avoid putting patients in those rooms. Whenever space became available, they would move patients from the west side, with the view of the plain wall, to the coveted east side, where light bounces off the waves of the East River and a steady stream of boat traffic passes Roosevelt Island.

The artist explains:

That unlike gallery browsers, patients would face his painting for hours and even days. He hoped someone staring at the complex shards might “allow the color to open up other ideas of possibilities or considerations of what might be going on in their life,” he said.

 

Jean-Philippe Pargade

Private hospital outside of Lille, France by Jean-Philippe Pargade

Jean-Philippe Pargade‘s Paris based architecture studio is receiving attention for a recently inaugrated private hospital located outside of Lille, France. Pictured above, the hospitality inspired hospital includes 225 beds, 10 operating rooms, and well as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and nuclear medicine units. Color blocks of spring hues matched with large windows and swaths of white, allow for clever way-finding clues in a light and crisp environment. The windows are the most strikingly unique element of the building, featuring flower motifs by artist Gary Glaser in incorporated into glazing by Ace Glass.

This hospital is not Pargade’s first project in the field of healthcare design. In 2007 they worked with Gary Glaser to colorize the Sarthe-et-Loir Health Center, Using a similar vocabulary, the firm explains that the design “creates tension between the rural landscape and the technological elegance of the architecture. The sensitive facade of silk-screen-printed glass is animated by the musical rhythm of the windows. Colour plays a major role and reveals the vital contribution to the clinics that has been made by the use of art work.”

A similar color scheme and ideology can be seen in the beautiful 2012 facade renovation at the military teaching hospital in Saint-Mande “which creates a hyphen between the city and the Bois de Vincennes, an architecture of transitions and passages, introducing fluidity between the countryside and architectural stratifications of different ages that are present at the site.”

Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

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Uk Design Website Adelto has a stunning slideshow of design details at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. 

Melbourne’s new $1 billion (Aus) Royal Children’s Hospital,  unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II was Designed in a joint venture between Billard Leece Partnership and Bates Smart Architects (BLBS), with US-based HKS as international advisors. The RCH received the ‘International Interior Design Award’ at the 2012 Emirates Glass LEAF Awards, which took place during this year’s London Design Festival.

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On pinterest

A new job in the realm of interior design has pushed posting on this blog to the end of my to-do list. In my absence, I’ve been keeping a pinterest board about healthcare design. i hope to resume more consistent posting again and elaborate on many of the “pins” I’ve posted over the past months, but in the meantime here is the link:

http://pinterest.com/jessicalouiseb/healthcare-and-medical-design/

Bridget Duffy Experia Health

Rock Health presents an insightful talk by Bridget Duffy of Experia Health,  a leading patient experience design. Dr Duffy is an engaging speaker and I find her to be one of the most relateable, convincing advocates for humanizing the healthcare experience.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaCxTQvRuoA?rel=0&w=560&h=315%5D
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