Treating healthcare patients like hotel guests isn’t necessarily a new
concept. The trend has existed in various forms throughout the
last 20 years. However, the motivations behind it have definitely
changed, and so have the actual effects on the patients and the
healthcare industry as a whole.
When the concept of hotel-like design was first introduced to
the healthcare industry, it revolved around the idea that if inpatient
surroundings, primarily patient rooms and nursing units were
similar to hotel-like environments, healthcare institutions could
charge their occupants additional fees for the upscale experience.
This would increase their bottom lines,
despite the higher staffing ratios that
to enhance and
This trend was more prevalent in
major urban areas like New York City
where Academic Tertiary Care Facilities
abound, which could institute this practice, and where there was a significant
populace willing to pay more for the differentiated attention and experience.
What would these hotel-like design features spaces entail?
Typical features would be atrium lobbies, multiple receptionists,
early examples of navigants, skylights, as well as upscale wall, ceiling, and flooring finishes: expensive woods, granite, and other
similar materials. The trend created reasonably successful units,
with high occupancy rates that would generate lucrative income for
the institutions that could afford the initial capital costs. Though
this trend started to show patients were getting better sooner, this
was not tracked or studied at that time. The motivation behind the
trend was not focused on the effects of hotel-like design on
patients, the motivation was purely economic.
If we fast forward some 15 years, we have learned from The Center
for Health Design’s industry investigations and research into issues
like Patient Focused Care and Evidence Based Design (how we
interact with patients and that one can factually see and test the
value of design) that there is a correlation between outcomes and
environments, and that those high-end units of yesteryear were
onto something, even if they didn’t know or fully understand what.
Now the cost benefit to a hospital’s bottom line of being able to
discharge patients sooner is well known. Additionally, the benefits
of privacy as a major Evidence Based Design tenet, have found
their way into the Facilities Guideline Institute (FGI) Code for hospital
design, mandating such things as single patient rooms in lieu of
semi privates, along with space in the room for family and friends,
and, at the same time, promoting the benefits of issues like light
control, acoustics and warm materials.
All these new changes have shown that people do get better
faster. While hospitals are becoming more consumer-centric, this
trend has also encompassed changes in the way medical staffs are
being treated at these updated facilities. Providing employees with
high end and high functioning working environments is another
benefit in helping people get better faster. Access to top medical
equipment and installing well designed lounges, cafeterias and TV
rooms for the staff is another example of creating a hotel-like atmosphere for not only consumers but also for the staff.
While the idea may seem to be intuitive—when you’re treated
well, you’ll heal faster—it is only recently that we have the tools to
verify this fact. In the Kimmerle Group, a design, real estate planning, development and branding practice, we seek to balance the
growing technological demands of equipment in highly acute care
main frames with the warmth of wood, paneling and cabinet work
that conceals medical equipment when not in use. Concealment,
virtual and otherwise, goes a very long way to enhancing the quality
of the space and mitigating the harshness of exposed equipment,
no matter how beneficial that equipment may be. An example can
be found in a group of recently completed nursing units for bariat-ric patients done by Kimmerle, where we concealed overhead lifts
when not in use.
Considering the benefits that hotel-like design has on a patients’
wellbeing and recovery time, we are confident that further research
will result in the proliferation of beneficial environments coupled
with lower healthcare costs.
Michael Azarian, managing director of Kimmerle Group’s Health Care
Studio. The views expressed here are his own.
The Healthcare Hotel
By Michael Azarian
“Advanced analytics can help investors and managers better
understand the sources of risk—from asset level, to macroeconomic, to regulatory—so they can draft appropriate mitigation
measures,” according to the report; “For a diversified CRE portfolio, this could involve assessing risk and return across multiple
property types, geographies, and regulators.”
How to Get Started
For any company that isn’t in the tech sphere, investing in a new—and
particularly—advanced application may seem daunting. Expert consultation certainly may be warranted. In the meanwhile, here is a cheat
sheet that can get executives thinking about what they may need.
Develop a data management plan. Deloitte Insights suggests
investors and managers first assess existing processes to identify
areas in which they are lagging and those in which data analytics
and AI would likely most benefit them. “For instance, some inves-
tors may need data analytics to improve their deal sourcing and
bidding capabilities, while others may use it to help generate
smarter portfolio management options.” Part of a data manage-
ment plan also calls for investors and managers to better under-
stand the different types of datasets and analytics solutions cur-
rently available. Also, investor firms should identify the skill sets
they expect to use for advanced analytics, Deloitte Insight says.
Embrace a data-driven mindset. Deloitte Insights readily
acknowledges that adopting a new approach and changing behavior throughout an organization is not easy. “C-suite leaders will
need to clearly articulate the benefits of utilizing alternate datasets
and analytics,” it advises. “They should act as change champions,
taking ownership and being accountable for setting a data-driven
culture.—Erika Morphy ◆