Physicians might be well-versed in evidence-based medicine, but are their departments aware of evidence-based design? Carlos Amato, Principal, Cannon Design in Los Angeles, CA, spoke with Diagnostic Imaging at RSNA 2015 about his evidence-based design session and explained why it’s important to look at the design of your facility.
Evidence-based design studies have looked at how space can reduce stress, provide patients with a better experience, and reduce average length of stay.
“Evidence-based design studies the connection between what we do as designers and how that affects the clinical outcomes,” Amato said.
In order for a department to have good flow, Amato said it is essential to start with a clinical operation analysis and incorporate the hospital’s strategy for lean methodologies and then connect the design.
When considering whether a radiology department needs a redesign, Amato suggests asking if the space “feels” satisfactory.
“Feeling is something that is difficult to measure, but you know it when it’s there,” he said. “You know when a space is properly designed, it makes you want to go there.”
Natural light, positive distractions, and the use of color are examples of small changes a practice can make to improve the design and feel of their space.
“I think there is a misconception that good design costs a lot of money,” Amato said. Building costs end up being a small portion of a practice’s expense, with staffing and operations costing much more, he said.
“I think it’s kind of foolish to not incorporate some basic elements to make a space feel great because that cost is going to be very small compared to what it will cost to not be able to retain staff and deal with poor patient satisfaction,” he said.