Monday, December 19, 2011

Was your hospital room user friendly?

If you’re like me, you’ve spent way too much time in hospitals. As a result, I think that many of us have gripes or, said differently, suggestions for ways to improve the hospital experience.

Well, Michel Graves is a guy who did more than gripe – he has started to design hospital rooms that are more patient-friendly

And when he designs, people listen.   

Why? According to a CNN article, “Graves is one of the most revered living architects and has won numerous prizes in his field. Critics have hailed him as one of the original American voices in architecture as he has designed hundreds of buildings for corporations, governments, foundations and universities such as the Team Disney building in Burbank, California. He has been praised for making buildings functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.”  He also is the driving force behind many of the product designs for Target stores.

He has been paralyzed from the waist down since 2003 and, upon entering a rehab facility supposedly designed for patients like him, was aggravated with the design and layout of his room and facilities. In a wheelchair, he soon found out that his toothbrush, his toothpaste and the handle for the hot water were out of reach.

In the article, he was quoted as saying “"When I went through some of the struggles that were caused by my room, I lost the self-empowerment that I was supposedly gaining during the day in rehabilitation," said Graves.  "I was no longer self-reliant, but dependent. This makes you feel terrible as a patient... as a paraplegic. You're feeling at the will of others."”

I’ve felt that same feeling. If you’ve been in rehab, I’ll be you’ve felt it, too.

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