Insights

Patient-centred design

What does it mean for today’s healthcare reform in China?

Jan 22nd 2018

By Jessica Liu
Associate Director, Healthcare Design Lead – Shanghai

Healthcare design is changing rapidly due to several factors, including legislative reform, technological innovation, and changes in the practice of medicine. One example is patient-centred design, a term that is frequently used in the media.

Every hospital has different values, preferences, and desired design outcomes based on its unique background, experiences, and operation culture. Patient-centred design involves transforming the relationship between design providers and end users from the traditional model, in which a design provider provides the same design for most hospitals with similar planning or conditions, into a designer-user partnership that considers design options based on a hospital’s unique concerns, preferences, and values.

Patient-centred design involves transforming the relationship between design providers and end users into a partnership that considers design options based on a hospital’s unique concerns, preferences, and values.

Patient-centred design also focuses on the design outcomes that are important to every individual within the hospital, addressing questions such as: “Will this planning improve the quality of medical care? Given the operational culture and preferences, which design options are best for the hospital? How will the implications of a particular planning affect the hospital operation?” To answer these questions, there must be more and better communication among designers, operation administrators, care providers, and members of the patient. It requires designers to be continuously engaged with healthcare providers, hospital administrators, and policymakers so that they are aware of the outcomes that matter most to every individual within the hospital and can help them make decisions that are in the best interest of them.

Comparing to the commercial, hospitality, educational, and other types of facilities, the healthcare project is relatively unusual. In the common recognition, when people enter a hospital or healthcare facility, it is typically with a feeling of panic, anxiety or dread. This environment is designed and equipped for people in their worst condition, with potentially strong and/or negative emotions.

Healthcare design does not just make spaces look beautiful, the most important thing is to improve the efficiency of the medical care process and create a comforting, healing environment

I believe that we’ve heard a lot of topics relating to making hospitals more hospitality driven. However, healthcare design does not just make spaces look beautiful, the most important thing is to improve the efficiency of the medical care process and create a comforting, healing environment for the patient, the patient’s family, visitors and medical staff. Compared with western healthcare facilities, hospitals in China are often extremely large, which makes improving the efficiency particularly.

Healthcare design is all about how patients and process connect. All strategies we have adapted into the design process such as workflow modelling, evidence-based design and lean processes, contribute to an increase in quality of patient care, a decrease in waiting times and related stress and an improved overall healthcare experience. This efficiency of design also optimises working conditions for the healthcare providers, directly contributing to patient comfort and safety.

The principal design drivers measured in the design process include technology innovation; flexibility and adaptability; sustainability; efficiency; and the environment of care. We evaluated each driver relative to quality, patient safety and costs and devised a flexible, component-based design solution that can be adapted to the unique preferences and needs of different hospitals.

Through years of experience, we have developed a unique, lean, design process. Lean design doesn’t mean less work, it connects powerful and innovative ideas and optimal processes throughout the entire project. It connects each space to function. The success of a project goes beyond aesthetics. We understand the connection between the design and a patient’s ability to heal. People are what matter. Together we create environments that design and enrich people’s life.

 

 

 

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