Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 58

The

Center

T H E N E X T WAV E

It's important to use what we know when
designing healthcare environments, but also be
aware of new innovations
By Debra Levin

T

HERE'S WISDOM IN applying proven best practices to
new design projects while continuing to search for
better solutions. One area in healthcare where this is
most needed is the waiting room.
Historically, waiting rooms were dismal, uncomfortable spaces where, too frequently, patients and
family members sat for long periods of time waiting to receive care or
get test results. Somewhere along the
BY ESTABLISHING NEW
way, a clever marketing executive (or
someone with nefarious intent, dependWAITING ROOM OPTIONS,
ing on your perspective) came up with
FACILITIES ARE BECOMING
the idea of giving this captured audiA PRIMARY PARTNER IN
ence a "positive" distraction by turning
the ubiquitous waiting room TV into an
A COMMUNITY-BASED,
informational device that plays educaINTERCONNECTED SYSTEM.
tional segments on the "disease du jour"
or healthy cooking videos in a loop of
content that repeats every 20 minutes. It's a seed of an idea headed in
the right direction, but still a far miss in terms of how to improve the
waiting experience.
Thankfully, over the past few years, a great deal of thought has gone
into reimagining the waiting room, and some creative solutions have
resulted.
One is the self-rooming concept, where patients check themselves
in and proceed to an exam room on their own, thereby eliminating the
waiting room process. This solution not only gives patients an element
of control over their experience, but it also allows for the reallocation of
waiting space as exam rooms or educational areas. Like any new model
in healthcare, this can be successful only if changes are also made to the
operational flow, so patients aren't just left sitting in exam space rather
than the waiting room.

58

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HCDMAGAZINE.COM

Another solution is the introduction of a
multifunctional "town center" in place of the
waiting room, where educational components
such as a marketplace selling fresh fruits and
vegetables or kiosks that provide health-related goods are located. Technology has also been
enlisted to take the place of the medical assistant coming into the waiting room and calling
out a name, with solutions like a simple paging
device, similar to those given to you at a restaurant, or text messaging used to alert patients
that it's time for their appointment. This allows
them to spend their waiting time just about
anywhere nearby.
These different ways of interacting with incoming patients allow facilities to leverage
square footage previously dedicated solely to
waiting and instead use it to encourage patient
empowerment and support a healthier and
more active lifestyle. By establishing these
new waiting room options, healthcare facilities are becoming a primary partner in a community-based, interconnected system that
provides increased patient touch points and
increased collaboration within the healthcare
system itself.
The healthcare design industry needs to
continue to rethink how we use the space
available to us as we design for a rapidly
changing and still unknown healthcare landscape to best leverage it for successful outcomes. By continuing to test new theories and
invest some time after new projects are built
to evaluate what worked and what still needs
to be improved, we can continually evolve
these spaces and challenge our preconceived
notions. Even a small paradigm shift can have
an exponential impact. 
Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center for
Health Design. She can be reached at D L E V I N @
H E A LT H D E S I G N . O R G .


http://www.HCDMAGAZINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - June/July 2017

Healthcare Design - June/July 2017
Contents
Editorial
Show Talk
Photo Tour
Pack Your Bags
First Look
Love Story
Starting Point
Process Improvement
Product Spotlight
The Center
Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Healthcare Design - June/July 2017
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 1
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Contents
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 4
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 5
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 6
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 7
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 8
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 11
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 12
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 13
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Photo Tour
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 15
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 16
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 17
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 18
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Pack Your Bags
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 20
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 21
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 22
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - First Look
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Love Story
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 25
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 26
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 27
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 28
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 29
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 30
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 31
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 32
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 33
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 34
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 35
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Starting Point
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 37
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 38
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 39
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 40
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 41
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 42
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 43
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 44
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 45
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 46
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 47
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 48
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Process Improvement
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 50
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 51
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 52
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 53
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Product Spotlight
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 55
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 56
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 57
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - The Center
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 59
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 60
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 61
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 62
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 63
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Cover4
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