Meeting Patient Expectations During Hospitalization: A Grounded Theoretical Analysis of Patient-Centered Room Elements

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Objectives:To identify patient needs and expectations that can be utilized to inform the design or renovation of medical–surgical patient rooms in a hospital.Background:There is an increased interest in supportive room design to increase patient satisfaction and improve the healing process.Methods:Patients’ and family caregivers’ reactions were elicited to intentional room elements embedded in a set of five full-scale simulated room prototypes. Small groups of patients and caregivers toured two of the five rooms and provided verbal and written evaluations of room features. A grounded theory approach was employed to generate a codebook, identify the frequency of codes, and to group codes and memos into emerging themes. Insights from emergent themes were compared with findings from written surveys on the importance of various room design elements completed at the beginning of each session.Results:A theoretical design framework was generated, showing patients expect a hospital room that provides them with the core components of comfort to support healing, facilitates a strong sense of connection to people and the outside world, enables quick and independent access to the patient’s things, and offers suitable levels of control to the patient throughout their hospital stay.Conclusions:The implications for assisting architects, healthcare planners, and interior space designers are described using this framework, as well as its potential for design guidance. In addition, the connection between patient-centered room elements and relevant survey questions in publicly reported patient satisfaction scores for hospitals is discussed.

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