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Healthy Hospital Movement Benefits Patients and Health-care Facilities

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hospitals and health-care facilities are maximizing patient happiness, health and healing by implementing features of the healthy hospital movement.  According to Construction Digital, the movement gives hospitals and health-care facilities a unique brand identity as a facility that cares about its patients and the environment.  The trend has been steadily growing worldwide over the past decade.

The movement officially began in the mid-1980s with the publishing of Roger Ulrich’s landmark study, “View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery.” The study was recently featured in a San Diego Union Tribune article focusing on the movement today. Ulrich, a Texas architecture professor and health-care design researcher, recorded results indicating that patients with nature views tended to require shorter hospital stays, were less likely to become depressed, developed fewer complications and needed less pain medication than those without. Ulrich’s revolutionary conclusion was that the built environment can impact patient healing and can be broken down into a list of tangibles.

Today, healthy hospitals still maximize views of nature, as suggested by Ulrich, along with other green practices. Healthy hospitals tend to feature natural lighting, adorn their walls with nature photographs and paintings, stick with natural color schemes and even have outdoor greenspaces. According to Healthcare Finance News, many hospitals and healthcare facilities are seeking LEED certification as part of the healthy hospital movement. Healthcare facilities see LEED certification as a cost-effective measure, which increases patient health, decreases length of patient stay and positively impacts the bottom line by saving energy and resources. The healthy hospital movement benefits both the patients and the health-care facility.

MMC Contractors has worked on several projects that utilize the features of the healthy hospital movement:

Akron Children’s Hospital Ambulatory Care Center and Critical Care Tower

Irwin Army Community Replacement Hospital

Maine General Regional Hospital

Methodist Olive Branch Hospital

University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro