Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 45

The

Center

MISSING PIECE

Supporting respite and wellness should be vital
components of healthcare design, but we don't
always hit the mark By Debra Levin

E

ARLIER THIS YEAR, I found myself spending extended pe-

riods of time in hospitals-first with my dad who was
having heart surgery and then with a dear friend who
was dealing with complications from a post-cancer liver
transplant. These visits provided a unique opportunity to
experience hospitals as an end-user and not as a healthcare design professional.
There were noticeable similarities and differences between the two facilities, one a large teaching hospital and the other a community hospital. One thing that jumped out at me in both cases, though, was
how quiet the patient floors were. Both had done a great job of reducing noise
in the corridors, keeping patient room doors closed, and eliminating overhead paging.
That was until the construction noise started at the teaching hospital,
which was converting the floor below into a new unit. It was like nothing I've
experienced in all my years of walking construction sites. My friend and his
wife shared that it had been like that all day, every day, from early morning until early evening. All I could think was, "How have we not found a fix for this?"
Another thing I noticed was the sheer monotony of long hospitalizations,
whether you're a patient or visitor. After spending far too many months in
hospitals this past year, my friend said he's found something happens to his
brain during an extended stay: He stops feeling any sense of time and place
and can just sit quietly in a chair for hours on end, staring at nothing as time
passes by. It's almost as if the brain simply
shuts down from lack of stimulation. If we're
HEALTHCARE SPACES
designing spaces for health and well-being,
we're missing a vital component that helps to
SHOULD ENGAGE THE
provide healthy positive distractions. Again, I
SENSES AND PROVIDE
thought, "We can do better than this."
POSITIVE DISTRACTIONS.
This idea was reinforced when, a few weeks
later, I read the article "Happiness by Design:
Multi-Sensory Wellness Spaces," by Valerie Jardon on Issuu.com. The piece
speaks to the science behind spaces for respite, diversion, and wellness. Jardon advocates for small (as small as 64 square feet) multisensory wellness
rooms that incorporate customizable experiences of light, sound, color,
taste, touch, and smell to engage, delight, and support happiness and wellbeing. As I read the paper, I kept thinking how a space like that would have
been a welcome concept at the two hospitals I had just experienced.
We've come so far over the last few decades in caring for physical well-being
by designing safer healthcare spaces that support patients and caregivers.
And yet, we have much left to accomplish. 

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 L T H D E S I G N . O R G .

MAY 2019

45


http://www.Issuu.com http://www.championchair.com http://www.championchair.com

Healthcare Design - May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - May 2019

Healthcare Design - May 2019
Contents
Editorial
Show Talk
Space to Breathe
Play Ball
Rising Star Awards
Orthopedic Facilities Special Report: Teaming Up
Orthopedic Facilities Special Report: Good Bones
Parking Easy Access
Product Spotlight Furniture & Casegoods
The Center
2019 Product Innovation Awards
Face Time
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Healthcare Design - May 2019
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 1
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 2
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Contents
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 4
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 5
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 6
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 7
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 8
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 11
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 12
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Space to Breathe
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 14
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 15
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Play Ball
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 17
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Rising Star Awards
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 19
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Orthopedic Facilities Special Report: Teaming Up
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 21
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 22
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 23
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Orthopedic Facilities Special Report: Good Bones
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 25
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 26
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 27
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 28
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 29
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 30
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 31
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 32
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 33
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 34
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Parking Easy Access
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 36
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 37
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Product Spotlight Furniture & Casegoods
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 39
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 40
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 41
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 42
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 43
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 44
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - The Center
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 46
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 2019 Product Innovation Awards
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 48
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 49
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 50
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 51
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 52
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 53
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 54
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - 55
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Face Time
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - May 2019 - Cover4
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