Design of high technology environments-Intensive care units (ICUS)
Book chapter, 2020
This chapter deals with the problems related to intensive care design, especially the intensive care room, and is based on literature study within ICU design that was conducted to create a broad foundation and insight into the research as well as highlight issues in this area. The study included results from both quantitative and qualitative studies. This approach and method are presented more broadly in a Chalmers licentiate thesis publication concerned with impacts of environmental designs on hospital staff and patients (Berezecka 2015). The rapid development of diagnostics, treatment and medical devices affects both practice and the experience of the care environment. This is especially true in environments where large quantities of advanced medical device equipment are in daily use, such as intensive care units (ICUs). Poorly designed ICU environments can have negative side effects and cause stress in patients, staff and relatives. This, in turn, can adversely affect treatment outcomes (Hamilton and Shepley 2010; Zimring, Joseph, and Choudhary 2004). Research results in, among other fields, health care and environmental science, show that design of the environment can contribute to health outcomes as well as affect the patients’ well-being, their need for medicine and the time of hospital stay. Environmental design affect patients’ and relatives’ satisfaction with care, as well as staff performance ability (Hamilton and Shepley 2010). In the last few decades, the importance of the design of the care environment has been recognized as a resource for care. ICU environments in health care are resource-demanding in terms of financial investments, operating costs and human resources. Proper design that supports healthcare and care processes also leads to financial gain, for example, in the form of shorter hospital stays and fewer absences among staff due to sickness.