When you were a child, do you remember walking into a hospital hallway as the scariest thing ever? You could not get over those strange smells and wondered why everything was so white and shiny everywhere. The ceiling lights were so bright that the light reflected and bounced right off of the linoleum floors. This is exactly the unknown that wanders the minds of young children or anyone experiencing hospital entry for the first time.
Fast forward to the first decade of the 21st century, with a metamorphosis of global forces changing the way we live, eat, breathe and walk in hospitals, we are turning the corner. We need to rotate that corner 180 degrees clockwise, inverse the reverse, concave the convex, and recess the projection.
The healthcare sector is now shifting towards higher standards of more efficiency and longevity via exchanging of new sciences, engineering advances, estimated guesses and experiments with other fields.
We want our patients, doctors, nurses, sales reps, directors and visitors to observe our healthcare environment as “sunrooms for healing”. These spaces would incorporate nature and safety for the patient as opposed to having their health and personal life controlled by a lab coat and a stethoscope. Hospitals should not make a patient feel “lost in a mass-produced operation house”, where all personal information could be plastered all over the hospital’s communication database.
When you hear someone say, “Mi Casa es su Casa”, you feel welcomed. The term “welcoming” describes the origin of the word “hospitality”. The root “hos” means “help”. Thus, the connection between hospitality, hospitals, hospice is clarified.
In this day and age, a patient wants to personally, socially and professionally stay connected to our ever-changing society. Having, hopefully unlimited, access to Wi-Fi, light and remote controls, as well as a dock station for their own playlists would be great amenities to feel more at home, just like at a hotel.
If these “sunrooms” could push the limits on healthcare architects and planners, its environments would expedite the natural healing process to a certain level.
Another approach to point out is incorporating amenities using Eastern and Western influences. Centuries ago, European cities built hospitals where all patient beds would face eastward to promote healing towards the Sun. Evidence proved faster results, shorter stays and lower prescription dosages.
We want our patients to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to live a healthier lifestyle. Due to the high-speed of Baby Boomers populating every day, we want to set an example in living longer with a healthier lifestyle. The chances of hospital visits for intensive care could be lowered and visiting a doctor for healthy reasons could be much higher.
The entire capacity of healthcare as a whole is probably the most significant global struggle, whether the economy is improvising or not.
Bringing in a dog trained as a therapy volunteer to a young cancer patient before entering chemotherapy is priceless. After a patient has dialysis treatments 3 times a week, why not fill up his room with balloons and posters of his favorite sports team with a DVD playing the biggest touchdown ever scored? Volunteering to wheel a handicapped child outside to hear the birds singing and smell the fresh aromas of a floral garden would be spiritually uplifting.
These are some simple examples that do not endure high medical expenses or major impediments between staff workers, patients and their doctors. Anything to make the patient feel his or herself, even just for five minutes is just enough to help them mentally “heal” faster and head into the future.
Our natural environment, while at stake, is still there for us to connect. The more improved our natural connections are, the less debilitating hospital-inflicted situations would occur and malpractice issues would dwindle due to a more improvised healthcare system.
Again, these patients’ lives are in our hands. We want to mentally push, stretch and extend the lifespan of people that need our help and keep the expanding generations more controlled and healthier.
We want to keep on presevering though we are still aware that natural disasters happen, like earthquakes or hurricanes, which are out of our control. Chemical spills and dropped glass test tubes are accidents that just have to allow us to alternatively design fast solutions.
As we go along on this fast-paced journey of life, we are now more aware of setbacks and major impediments that add mega-wattage impacts as high as a Pacific Coast earthquake. Making better decision-making choices, under time and budget is the recommended approach in re-engineering the way we perceive healthcare.
Let’s put ourselves into the shoes of patients, nurses and staff and think more as humanitarians. Also, let’s re-engineer our hospitals as “sunrooms for healing” and help keep our generations more sustained and allow future ones to follow suit.