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Design Insights & Strategies Tool

November 2015

Healthcare is provided in a variety of settings, from a person’s home to outpatient clinics, to the hospital. While the settings and specific design elements may differ across the continuum of care, the objectives of safety, efficiency, satisfaction, and high quality care remain constant. This set of interactive diagrams provides a link between the evidence base, design strategies, and desired outcomes – in a visually intuitive and actionable format.


Medical-Surgical Patient Room

Medical-surgical patient rooms constitute a significant component of a hospital building project, with a large body of research evidence and best practice knowledge for designers to draw upon in order to create a best design that successfully addresses unique issues in the design of each project.

Intensive Care Unit Patient Room

Intensive care unit (ICU) patient rooms serve critically ill patients. With requirements for close monitoring and observation, as well as specialized equipment and technology, the physical environment can be frightening for families and requires special considerations to optimize staff efficiency, promote quality care and safety of patients, and support loved ones.

Maternity Care Patient Room

Maternity care patient rooms (typically LDR and LDRP rooms) represent a specialty design area that requires expertise, knowledge, and attention on the whole birthing process, which is often a time of great expectations, excitement, as well as pain and anxiety.

Primary Care Exam Room

Primary care exam rooms are becoming the center of the healthcare experience. Technological advances, point-of-care testing, and improved organizational flow models are streamlining the patient experience.By designing the exam room to be more patient-centric, providers and care teams can significantly enhance effectiveness, efficiency, comfort, safety, and quality of care.

Healthcare At Home

Healthcare is moving beyond the walls of the hospital. This is partially due to a growing population of patients who require medical care but are stable enough to be treated at home (including older adults with acute and chronic conditions). Caring for these populations in their own home is more convenient and cost effective than providing that same care in a traditional medical setting. Home environments that support medical care can reduce unnecessary hospitalization, influence health and wellbeing, and help to maintain a person’s independence.