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A Recovery-Oriented Care Approach: Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Newly Built Mental Health Facility

Originally Published:
Key Point Summary
Key Point Summary Author(s):
Dickey, Andrew
Key Concepts/Context
An inpatient mental health hospital was renovated with a newly built environment that incorporated patient-centered, clinically informed designs in an attempt to improve overall safety and quality of care. The new designs were considerably expensive and had extensive design implications for other parts of the hospital outside of the mental health facility. The most controversial of the new designs were an interdependent patient entrance or “portal” and a transitional security zone with numerous patient amenities. Key stakeholders involved in the development of the renovations considered making further changes to the designs. However, it was decided that feedback on the impact of the new designs should be gathered from patients themselves before any more renovations were initiated.
To use patients’ perspectives regarding renovations in a newly built mental health facility to further improve management procedures and facility designs.
The authors used focus groups, surveys, field observations, and reviews of hospital records to gather patient perspectives on design features and their impact on the overall quality of care. Managers and directors from the facility were interviewed to understand the purposes behind specific designs.
Design Implications
A balance between patient privacy and autonomy is greatly valued by both visitors and patients of mental healthcare facilities. Areas such as a “portal” and “galleria” discussed in this study can provide a sense of both security and autonomy, if properly constructed and managed.
Overall patient perceptions of the portal and galleria spaces were positive. Managers and directors voiced their support for the spaces and their intended purposes, but understood that novel management techniques would have to be developed to optimize the use of the areas. Ultimately, the hospital leaders decided to keep the portal and galleria spaces operating as they were originally intended due to the positive responses from patients and visitors.
This study focuses on one healthcare facility and unique facility designs that may not be applicable to other mental healthcare settings. Although hospital records were reviewed, mostly qualitative data were used to assess the quality of care improvements that were supposedly caused by the renovations.
Design Category
Building location/site optimization|Room configuration and layout|Unit configuration and layout|Building Envelope
Outcome Category
Organizational outcomes|Patient health outcomes|Patient satisfaction and comfort
Environmental Condition Category
Patient Satisfaction and Comfort
Key Point Summary Author(s):
Dickey, Andrew
Primary Author
Ahern, C. C.