How Hospital Design Effects Finance
Everyone visits a hospital at some point but did you ever wonder how hospital design affects finance? The architecture and design of a medical facility can make or break its budget. In a time of healthcare reform and patient-centered medicine, hospitals are serious about how business is conducted. Hospital staff from the top down realize patients have choices and will seek healthcare elsewhere if their needs aren't met.
- Build gardens and places of respite. Landscaping and scenery contribute or detract from a patient's mood, and this is one way hospital design affects finance. People feel good about atriums, gardens, labyrinths and walking trails so many facilities incorporate these features.
- Offer amenities. When considering how hospital design affects finance, Wi-Fi and free Internet access for patients and visitors makes good sense. Other amenities many hospitals offer are in-house bistros and cafes, free cafeteria plates for patients' families, cab vouchers, and valet parking.
- Provide easy access. Another way hospital design affects finance is through easy access. Facilities that provide ample handicapped parking at main and emergency entrances, volunteers to assist patients as they enter and exit their cars, and in-house signage with easy-to-read directions do better than institutions without these features.
- Change of attitude. Hospital design affects finance just as much as the attitudes of the people who work there. Inviting patient and family participation in treatment and patient education impacts financial outcomes. Smart hospital executives know this and carefully train medical staff in bedside manner and customer service. The patient is the client and today's medicine focuses on participation as opposed to outdated, authoritative methods.
- Focus on safety. Safety is crucial to how hospital design affects finance. Facilities must meet safety standards and many work for Joint Commission and other accreditation as a way to tout their services. How effectively adverse events are managed is also important. Word gets around quickly and hospitals do not want to have a negative image in their community.
- Concerns about privacy. Privacy concerns are related to how hospital design affects finance. If a patient feels their privacy has been compromised, they can initiate lawsuits and bad press. The federal government mandates patients' privacy through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Healthcare facilities must comply or suffer millions of dollars' worth of fines.
- Design a friendly layout. One way hospital design affects finance is how quickly medical staff are able to diagnose and treat patients. Locating ancillary departments (lab, radiology, cardiopulmonary) close to the emergency room is one tactic hospitals typically employ. Access to nursing stations, out patient diagnostic testing areas and ample waiting rooms for family and visitors are another.