This Hospital Room of the Future is Designed for Better Care This Hospital Room of the Future is Designed for Better Care
Design

This Hospital Room of the Future is Designed for Better Care

by Dave Ruthven

August 5, 2013


But what if you had an opportunity to shed all of this chaos, and start from scratch? What would your hospital look like if it were completely designed around the most important element—the patient experience? Every single decision would radiate out from this central point, from medication administration, to billing processes, and so on. While this might seem to be a utopian vision at face value, this kind of exercise is vitally needed in order to convince people that change is possible in healthcare, and attain incremental changes in the near future.


In healthcare, only a few systems have the luxury of investing in this type of experimental design process. But what if there was an open platform for designers, healthcare providers, and industry insiders to come together to craft a new patient experience? Enter NXT Health.

As a designer, you are always balancing creative freedom with practical reality. When NXT Health approached me to join a team in creating a “patient room of the future,” I was afforded an open platform to engage with other designers, healthcare providers, and industry experts to refine any concepts that evolved during the creative process, something that seldom occurs in traditional practice. What we built together didn’t have to be perfect (prototypes never are), and the concepts were never allowed to stray from the central purpose of improving the patient experience.

The end result is Patient Room 2020, a design that is not afraid to take chances, but is also grounded in functionalism and tied to solving real world challenges facing modern healthcare organizations, such as infection control, patient/family engagement and optimizing caregiver efficacy. The prototype installation at the DuPont™ Corian® Design Studio in New York features many innovative concepts that were generated during the collaborative process, including a sink that illuminates to encourage staff handwashing, a technologically enhanced overbed table that gives patients a bedside control center, and a bathroom that has the ability to morph into numerous configurations based on user needs.

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This Hospital Room of the Future is Designed for Better Care