Hospital Design May Be Key In Your Recovery & Patient Experience
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
Health and wellness must be approached from a holistic perspective. It’s not just about what you put in your body. How you think and your immediate environment plays a significant role in our health and wellness. For example, toxic thoughts may lead to a toxic body. And toxic relationships may contribute to stress and disease in the body.
Furthermore, “...exposure to greenspace [essentially nature] reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure,” according to one recent study.
So I guess it’s no surprise that there is an entire practice dedicated to evidence-based design for hospitals and healthcare facilities.
“Evidence-based design, which has become more popular in the past three decades, assumes an intimate connection between health-care facilities and patient well-being,” according to one report.
“It uses a wide range of measures to assess how someone's psychological response to a built environment influences physiological, cognitive and functional outcomes.”
Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital looks more like a zoo inside as opposed to a cold, sterile hospital. This hospital has a permanent meerkat enclosure in one of the reception areas. Talk about a way to boost a sick child’s mood!
Royal children’s also has an interactive gaming screen, sculptures, an aquarium and a children-only activity room.
Many hospitals around the world are also designed to include courtyards, communal gardens and other natural environments.
Providing such environments has shown to improve mental health of patients and even help them physically recover better.
“For instance, one key piece of research found people recovered faster after surgery, and used fewer painkillers, if their hospital bed overlooked a natural scene (like a garden) rather than a brick wall.”
The importance of building design is perhaps more important when it comes to youth mental health facilities.
In one center, “[w]hen young people enter the facility, they are greeted by a trained concierge rather than a formal reception area, and provided with a range of seating options, both inside and out.”
Doing this provides more privacy and a more comfortable, “at-home” feeling. And the less intimidating and more welcoming a healthcare facility feels to a patient, the more likely he or she is to ask questions during appointments and not been in a rush to get out of there as soon as possible.
(Some hospitals even offer spa services such as massage therapy. And this maternity ward offers aromatherapy, pressure-point massage and other spa-like amenities).
What I think we can gather from all of this is that selecting a hospital where you can reap healthy benefits from the environment and experience is beneficial. But perhaps what is even more important to acknowledge is that we can apply all of this evidence-based design to our everyday lives at home.
For example, surrounding yourself with plants in your home or office can be great for you. Some of the benefits of being around plants include reduced stress, better mood, a stronger immune system and even better skin. You can also care for a home garden.
And as always, be proactive about your overall health by eating a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and taking routine nutrient tests in order to identify any nutrient imbalances or deficiencies you may have. If the test reveals you have too much or too little of a certain nutrient, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on making the necessary dietary changes and recommend quality supplements if necessary.
Taking advantage of IV vitamin drips or injections is also a great way to boost your immunity and overall health. I take advantage of these drips at the pH Drip Lab on a monthly basis to boost my immune system and address my inevitable nutrient absorption issues with vitamin C. At the pH Drip Lab, we offer all sorts of vitamin “cocktails.” My go-to is the “Pick Me Up Buttercup,” which is an injection of 1,000 mg of vitamin C. I believe this has successfully boosted my immunity, energy and good health along with surrounding myself in nature and good people!
Finally consider cryotherapy. You will want to seek the advice of your doctor, however, the benefits of cryotherapy include better sleep, a stronger immune system and less inflammation throughout the body - all things you want to achieve and maintain optimal health.
Approach your health holistically.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.