The ideal patient room is actually three areas in one. The patient zone, which includes bed and overbed table. The staff zone, with a sink, sanitizer and counter for writing. And the family zone, where visitors can always feel comfortable enough to spend a little more time.
Access is key: Caregiver access to the patient. Patient access to the bathroom. And access for everyone to vital information. Each helps determine the most appropriate, efficient way to orient a space. Ultimately, when the patient has ownership of his surroundings and feels connected to staff and loved ones, we’ve created an environment exceptionally conducive to healing.
In the patient room, consider the needs of the three primary users: the patient, the family member, and the staff. For example, the patient needs a place to store personal belongings, and a place for cards or flowers. The family needs to be with their loved one without being in the way of staff attending to the patient. The staff zone, which includes a counter, storage, sink and sanitizer, needs to be located at the entrance to the room.
Lighting needs to meet the comfort needs of the patient, and the work requirements of the staff, especially at night. Consider zoning the lighting within the patient rooms.
Consider providing space at the patient room threshold for activities such as charting, temporary storage of supplies and equipment, and impromptu meetings, without creating an obstruction in the corridor.