Building A Better Inpatient Unit

Written by: Anne DiNardo, Senior Editor | Healthcare Design

The search for the right inpatient unit design shouldn’t just take into account size, footprint, and type of care being provided—it’s also about looking at an organization’s philosophy on patient engagement, care delivery, and technology in order to plan and build the best environment.

“There’s no right or wrong way,” says Sheila Cahnman, president of JumpGarden Consulting LLC (Wilmette, Ill.). “Each facility has its own operational ideal.”

As those ideas evolve in response to changing care models, patient expectations, and the latest research, design teams must continue looking for new ideas to find that perfect fit.

In the past, inpatient units have adapted to the shift from paper-based charts to electronic medical records (EMRs), from semiprivate to private patient rooms, and from large waiting rooms to in-room family zones with overnight accommodations.

The evolution continues as hospitals now rethink the location and layout of staff workstations, accommodate the shift to multidisciplinary care, and plan for future technologies.

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