The New McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has committed to building a top-ranking, patient-centric university healthcare centre. Every aspect of this major challenge comes together in designing patient rooms for adults and children, an essential component of quality health care.
When patients are surveyed, the need for privacy, dignity, security, and calm are priorities. They want to feel taken care of; want room for visitors and space to store their personal effects; they want natural light, a view of the outdoors, an attractive and pleasant environment and entertainment. This means creating a welcoming environment that promotes healing and encourages families to participate in care.
Nurses, physicians and other health professionals working in both adult and pediatric medicine want spaces that are more functional, confidential, flexible, and better able to adapt to new technology and patients’ medical needs. This would also allow for a better nurse/patient ratio; improve patient visibility and bring care closer to the bedside, meaning that patients would be moved much less, which would in turn reduce stressors and the risk of infection.
In a study conducted in January 2011, by the MUHC and McGill University, a 50% decrease in the infection rate for three highly resistant strains of bacteria, including C-difficile was observed, along with a 10% shorter stay in the hospital. “The patient’s room can be a powerful tool against the spread of infection in a hospital,” says Dr. Charles Frenette, Director of Infection Control and Prevention. “It must be adapted to the staff’s needs and facilitate healthy habits. For example, placing a sink in the room near the door allows staff to wash their hands before seeing another patient.”
Dr. Frenette adds: “to reduce the risk of infection, the room should include lots of space to facilitate cleaning and reduce clutter, dedicated equipment and as much flexibility as possible.”
The concept of the ideal patient room is in perfect harmony with the MUHC’s commitment to the highest standards of care and a climate of compassion and respect for all.