Evidence-Based Designs In Military Hospitals

Introduction

Evidence-based design (EBD) is an approach that has found security in the development of military hospitals. This process incorporates advances in architecture, economics, psychology, and neuroscience. The main objective of this field is to create a safer, less stressful environment in order to improve users’ (both patients and hospital staff) comfort and wellbeing and to enhance the healing process.

Military health facilities have been including EBD in all types of development, ranging from remodeling projects to expansions to new construction. The move toward the greater use of EBD started in the 1970s when research suggested that the physical environment has a direct impact on patient wellness and user efficiency.

A Checklist Approach

Given that there exist several efforts for establishing guidelines in EDB, the Department of Defense of the United States had to take the initiative to develop a process that conforms to the standards of military construction. The Department of Defense established specific checklists of EBD elements that could be used by design teams according to the purpose of the building.

While a checklist approach may appear as restrictive, it is far from it. Design teams using this process have the flexibility to select the most logical solutions for its facility and are not obligated to use all elements from the checklist. For example, when the design team is considering an outdoor feature to provide a tranquil environment for patients, it can choose from an outdoor waterfall system, an intrinsic water feature, or a hedge maze. The checklist approach provides the designers all the possibilities that may not be apparent if the team was to start the brainstorming process from scratch.

Takeaway

The EBD checklist approach may appear to stifle the design process of military healthcare facilities; however, the opposite is true. The checklist has allowed design teams to work in a rigorous fashion that ensures all design considerations are reviewed.

Reference:

Onken, Richard J. (2012, January 3) – A Rigorous Approach to Evidence-Based Design Retrieved January, 2012, from http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/article/rigorous-approach-eviden… http://www.flickr.com/photos/usarmyafrica/5936426152/

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