Lighting & Interior Design for Patient Experience
Designing for patient experience is a relatively new concept that has been pushed to mainstream in recent years. We’re exploring how lighting design for healthcare can make a difference.
Research suggests that a hospital’s lobby, procedure, and patient room design contribute to both better wellness outcomes and higher profitability.
Every project has a budget. The budget drives many design decisions from all parties including architects, interior designers, hospital boards and client owners.
Profitability and Patient Experience
Deloitte Insights recently published evidence that there’s a high return on investment when making improvements and policies that put patient experience first.
“Hospitals with excellent patient reported ratings had a net margin of 4.7 percent, on average, as compared to just 1.8 percent for hospitals with ‘low’ ratings…hospitals with better experience levels earn disproportionately more than they spend compared to those with lower ratings.”
Does Interior Design Contribute to Patient Experience?
You probably already know the answer is “yes”. But, what do hospitals, patients and care-givers have to add to the conversation? We interviewed Shannon Kris, director of radiation services for Virginia Oncology Associates for answers.
“When you have an organization that emphasizes patient experience, that emphasis flows into the leaders and staff.
Ultimately, everything works together for the entire patient experience. The experience starts at the front desk staff and flows through the clinical staff and the environment. This affects the care patients are receiving. It’s important that the standard for patient experience be set at a high level.”
Why Caregivers Advocated for RGBW Lighting Design
When the choice between static white and color changing (RGBW) lighting came into question, the radiology staff advocated for color changing lighting. This decision was based on patient feedback from their Hampton radiology department.
Shannon explains, “A couple of years ago, the architect designing our Hampton radiology department recommended color changing lighting for our vaults. The patients just loved it. We decided to go with the color changing lights going forward because the more than we can make patients comfortable, the better.
The lights are really calming and create an environment that is conducive to relaxation. The treatment process can be very overwhelming. Patients are in the space by themselves getting treatment for their cancer. Anything that we can do to encourage relaxation and to give patients control in the treatment process is helpful. We allow them to choose the colors and we have music playing that can go with the lighting. The goal is just to make the patient as comfortable as possible throughout treatment.”
The above video shows the RGB lighting inside of Virginia Oncology Associates radiation vaults located at Sentara Brock Cancer Center in Norfolk, Virginia
Are RGBW Lighting Controls Difficult to Operate?
A big concern with color changing lighting is the use of controls with lighting “scenes”. Designers and owners want to know how easy or difficult the lighting controls will be to operate. But, as lighting controls become mainstream and technology becomes more user friendly, this concern has become a non-issue. We asked Shannon about the RGBW lighting controls at their new location.
“The lights are actually very easy to operate. We were a little nervous about learning how to do the light shows for our new vaults and how we would change the colors. But, the training took less than 10 minutes. Since that time, we are all able to come into the rooms and easily operate the lights. Operating the lights is very intuitive. It’s not difficult at all.”
The controls on radiation vaults are manufactured by Fresco, a brand commonly used in conjunction with other brands under the Acuity Brands umbrella.
DeZINE Magazines for Design Professionals
You can read more design stories and lighting design articles in the free deZINE Resource magazines. The magazines are even downloadable.
These flipstyle magazines are unique because each issue contains product solutions and stories from a single product type. Examples of categories include healthcare, acoustic lighting solutions, linear lighting solutions, rings and spheres, and more.
The lighting throughout the building is a mixture of various Acuity Brands and OCL Lighting. See below for products featured in the video and seen in the lobby and hall.