The Future of Healthcare: The Patient Room

Similar to what I talked about last week in the Hospital of the Future post, the Patient Room of the Future will also need to incorporate new technologies and sate a desire for increased multi-functionality. NXT, Clemson University and Birdtree Design have been working on a prototype, entitled ‘Patient Room 2020’, which solves for these challenges while keeping an intense focus on the quality of the care afforded to the ultimate user, the patient. The current room may be a chaotic tangle of wires and poor integration, and it is for these problems and inconveniences that this innovative room intends to solve.

Here are a few key aspects of Patient Room 2020:

–          It’s designed to be a plug and play environment, in which all aspects of care are integrated. For example, a flat screen, digital headboard displays vital signs of the patient and can also control all of the lighting for the room.

–          A media center at the foot of the bed is able to be used by caregivers, patients and visitors and eases the collaboration between these three main constituencies.

–          A smart-glass technology sliding door alerts the caregiver and anyone else entering the room of any allergies or restrictions regarding the patient. This could also serve as a reminder to visitors to wash their hands. With checklists becoming more and more prevalent in healthcare, this can serve as sort of an interactive checklist that ensures the patient’s safety.

Obviously, the hospital patient room design should be focused on one thing: the patient. Comfort, quality of care, accessibility for visitors – all of these factors must be considered when dreaming up the patient room of the future. What priority do you think should be at the top of the list?

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