Patient outcomes linked to hospital design in growing body of research

More than 600 studies suggest the design of healthcare facilities affect medical outcomes considerably, yet few healthcare reformers highlight this fact when discussing America's high healthcare costs and poor performance comparative to other nations, according to Newsweek.

One study published by the British Medical Association found facilities that are poorly designed contributed to anxiety, delirium, high blood pressure and increased use of painkillers in patients.

One the other hand, facilities that are designed well, with plenty of natural sunlight, were "associated with improvement in mood, reduced mortality among patients with cancer and reduced length of hospitalization for patients who have experienced myocardial infarction," according to a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Various research projects conducted at the Heart Hospital at SwedishAmerican in Rockford, Ill., and Reading (Pa.) Hospital — among others — all support the link between a hospital's architectural environment, patient outcomes and costs, according to Newsweek.

"In healthcare, design matters. Research confirms that the conditions in which patients receive care have a significant impact on how effective that treatment will be. And more effective treatment translates to lower overall costs," concluded the report.



More articles on patient outcomes:
Improving nurse working environment, staffing levels can drive value, study finds
Study: Low-income women supported by doulas less likely to have premature births, costly surgical deliveries
UVA Medical Center to make patient outcomes data public

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