The Role of Person-Centered Design in the Patient Experience

The Role of Person-Centered Design in the Patient Experience
Hospital stays are often unpleasant for patients. However, that doesn’t mean healthcare providers can’t cultivate a more comfortable experience. Well-designed hospital spaces help mitigate patients’ anxiety and support their recovery. These well-designed spaces are also easier for caregivers to use, allowing them more time and energy to devote to patients.

Modern hospitals have evolved beyond basic clinical layouts and utilitarian design. Drawing upon a recent emphasis on inclusivity and trends in hospitality, healthcare facilities now strive to make patient stays a truly supportive experience.

Frequent and Personalized Communication

The medical field has taken large strides toward greater transparency and communication with patients. Records, exam results, and treatment plans are readily available, perhaps even via a mobile app. Patient rooms display nurses’ and techs’ names and allow patients to quickly contact the staff.

Effective communication is critical to patient well-being. Research suggests patients should be informed and engaged throughout their hospital stay. One study found that patients who took self-assessments about their surgery plan reported higher satisfaction—and, often, better outcomes.

Hospitals should provide patients with clear information about what to expect during their stay, including the procedures, tests, and treatments they will undergo. Patient room design supports this transparency with wall-mounted displays and furniture layouts that facilitate conversation.

For example, the Verō’s modular design allows it to adapt to a range of clinical spaces. Choose from an eye-level seating option for a doctor consultation, a supportive reprieve from the hospital bed, or a cozy recliner for a vigilant family member.

Person-Centric Patient Seating

Traditionally, hospital furniture is very different from what people use in their daily life. Rigid, uncomfortable seating is an unpleasant tactile experience that may trigger anxiety. Then patients are forced to cope with a stressful environment on top of trying to recover from the malady or procedure that first brought them in.

Healthcare facility managers are drawing upon furniture traits seen in home seating options. Living-room staples such as recliners and armchairs cultivate a restorative environment. Naturally, healthcare designers are eager to bring these benefits into clinical spaces.

That’s why there has been a surge of interest in person-centered design for clinical spaces. This design approach is two-fold:

  • It draws upon the textures, colors, and shapes that most people enjoy.
  • It prioritizes the physical needs of the people using these spaces.

Thus, well-designed patient recliners accommodate a wide variety of body types. Mobility issues are solved with low-profile seats and adjustable features, rather than seating that merely tries to “look good.” In short, form and function are blended aims, and human needs drive all design decisions.

For example, Champion’s Augustine recliner expresses a homey aesthetic with curved, supportive arms and a spacious seat—welcoming patients to rest and recover. These human-friendly features also make it easier for caregivers to tend to patients.

Person-centric seating can help patients feel more at ease in hospitals. It shows that caregivers are paying attention to patient needs, rather than forcing them into uncomfortable chairs that may feel dehumanizing.

Enrichment for Patient Rooms and Treatment Areas

TVs in patient rooms are nothing new, but, today, people prefer to choose their entertainment. Many have games, movies, social media, and other options on their personal devices. Whenever it’s safe to do so, healthcare designers should embrace this trend. They can facilitate patients’ access to their preferred amusement to help create a more enjoyable environment.

Solutions may include:

  • Modular design that can be oriented toward TVs, reading lamps, etc.
  • Seating options with convenient side tables, device chargers, and personal-item storage.

Ideally, patient seating solutions make it easy for nurses to administer IVs, check vitals, and so forth. Often, an emphasis on comfort helps everything else go smoothly. When patients are at ease, their caregivers are better able to respond to their needs.

Champion Helps Hospitals Enhance the Patient Experience

Healthcare providers need the right seating solutions and other tools to keep patients comfortable and safe. Good design perpetuates a better healing environment—especially since hospitals can be very stressful places.

Champion’s person-centric designs support a more inclusive, empowering clinical experience. Browse our collections, and see how your healthcare facility can become more welcoming and soothing with our medical seating and accessory solutions.