Monthly Archives: February 2014

“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.

Picture 5

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!

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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.”