The Real Driving Force Behind Evidence-Based Design – Guest post by Henry Domke

Rock Creek Reflection, courtesy Henry Domke Fine Art

This post by Henry Domke first appeared on his blog, Healthcare Fine Art, on January 14

Thanks very much to Henry for permission to reprint here.

The main pitch to sell Evidence-based Design (EBD) is showing research that it helps patients. However the main reason hospitals are willing to pay extra is not research but consumer demand. It turns out that many of the design changes that EBD supports are perceived by patients as creature comforts. For example:

  • Single-patient rooms
  • Exposure to nature with pictures and gardens
  • Extra space for family members
  • Quiet rooms
  • Natural light

Increasingly patients not only expect these comforts, they demand them. If you don’t have them patients will go elsewhere and that impacts to bottom line.

A recent article in San Diego’s Union-Tribune by Keith Darce explores this idea. He talked about how EBD was used in the new 334-bed, acute-care tower at Memorial Hospital in Kearny Mesa. The article is called: At region’s new hospital, creature comforts count.

While studies indicate that some of the creature comforts help patients get well faster, consumer demand is the real driving force behind the trend, said Janna Binder of Professional Research Consultants, a company in Omaha, Neb., that researches the health care market.

“Pretty soon it’s going to be expected for a hospital to have high-definition screens (in patients’ rooms) and gardens,” she said.