Hospitals in Washington State are relying on innovative, hotel-like design elements to attract insured patients and generate better outcomes and profits.
For example, Swedish Medical Center's new Issaquah campus and St. Elizabeth in Enumclaw look more like spa and wellness centers, rather than traditional hospital facilities, reports the Seattle Times. They include single rooms for privacy, big windows for natural light and views, pullout couches in patient rooms for family stays, and energy-efficient technology.
Recognizing that limited-English proficiency can affect care, St. Elizabeth offers hospital beds that provide information and ask questions in other languages besides English.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Children's Hospital is also utilizing fresh new design techniques for its new tower scheduled to open today, reports ABC 15 News.
The lobby features L.E.D. lights to serve as "positive distractions" for young patients, notes ABC 15 News, and includes splashes of color, soft accent lighting, and modern furniture. The private rooms contain fold-out beds and convertable furniture so that family members can stay close to their children during hospital stays.
Such innovations may signal a turning tide in hospital design. "It's an evolutionary thing going on here," Joel Loveland, a professor of architecture at the University of Washington, told the Seattle Times. If building, expansion, and design changes attract more patients, hospitals may move away from designs like big, luxurious rooms or decentralized nursing stations, notes Loveland.