From the parking lot to the exam room, doctors can improve the physical surroundings for their patients, yet often they do not. Given the numerous and varied duties doctors must perform, it may fall to the design profession to implement changes, many based on research, to improve healthcare experiences. From location and layout to furnishings and positive distractions, this book provides evidence-based information about the physical environment to help doctors and those who design medical workspaces improve the experience of health care.
Along with its research base, a special aspect of this book is the integration of relevant historical material about the office practice of physicians at the beginning of the twentieth century. Many of their design solutions are viable today. In addition to improving the physical design of healthcare facilities, author Ann Sloan Devlin is the granddaughter, daughter, and niece of physicians, as well as the granddaughter and daughter of nurses. She worked in a hospital during college, and has visited a good many practitioners’ offices in medical office buildings and ambulatory care settings. This book addresses an overlooked location of care: the doctor’s office suite.
Table of Contents
Preface; Acknowledgments; Introduction; Role of evidence-based design; The patient-centered care movement, Planetree, and the Center for Health Design; Green design, sustainability, and technology; ADA and HIPAA; The role of evidence; Unifying themes in this book; A call to action; Chapter 1. Office Location, Signage, and Identity: Where and Who You Are; Overview: Schemas and patients’ expectations; Location; Signage; Parking; Exterior landscaping and image: An overview; Chapter 2. Arriving, Waiting, and Taking Vitals: Setting the Stage; Overview; The spatial continuum: From entrance and reception to interior spaces; Reception space: Expectations and functions; The waiting room: Territoriality, personal space, and privacy; Lighting; Furnishings; Staff areas; The toilet room (restroom); Chapter 3. Consultation and Examination Spaces: "You Feel Healthier When You’re Dressed"; Overview; Anxiety and the medical consultation; Models of consultation; Privacy concerns: Overview; Illumination: Properties of lighting and dynamic lighting systems; Personalization in the office suite; The psychotherapist’s office: Continuous consultation and examination; Consultation and exam spaces: A century ago; Chapter 4. The Ambient Environment: Changing the "Sick People’s" Atmosphere; Overview: The waiting room should "lose its ‘sick people’s’ atmosphere"; Ambient characteristics: Control, positive distraction, and personalization; Giving patients control and permission; The senses: Visual stimulation and positive distraction; Nature: The real deal; Music as positive distraction; Complimentary food and beverages; Other senses; Safety in the medical suite: By regulation and by association; Closing thoughts; Further reading; Index.
Ann Sloan Devlin is the May Buckley Sadowski ’19 Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College, New London, USA. She has published extensively on healthcare environments, investigating how perceptions of the built environment influence judgments of care and comfort. She has written three other books, most recently What Americans Build and Why: Psychological Perspectives (2010).
"Ann Sloan Devlin, Ph.D., a premiere 'building doctor' and designer researcher, has the prescription for our ailing healthcare environments. In an industry replete with opinions and rules-of-thumb, Devlin’s guide provides a dose of rigor, sensibility, and sensitivity for forward–thinking caregivers, healthcare administrators, and designers. For those who understand that their healthcare setting is critical to defining value for their consumers, you will find Devlin’s research refreshing and empowering. If clinical practices want to succeed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, this book is a must-have." - Nicholas Watkins, PhD, Director of Research at BHH Design, faculty member at the New York School of Interior Design
"[Devlin] relies heavily on principles of design and insights from social psychology, and the book makes good use of colorful photographs of existing spaces to illustrate her points. The layout of the book is logical, and it moves from public spaces like location, parking lots, and signage to less public spaces like waiting rooms, eventually addressing very private spaces like examination rooms and restrooms. Her premise is that the physical environment is an important component in improving the quality of health care and that evidence-based design has much to teach us about how health care settings can be improved." – PsycCRITIQUES, Michael B. Blank and Marlene M. Eisenberg