Kahler Slater Wins Room Design Award

MILWAUKEE — Kahler Slater, a Milwaukee-based architecture and experience design firm, won the nationwide 2012 Patient Empowered Room Design competition, presented by the Institute for Patient-Centered Design Inc., headquartered in Atlanta.

The competition asked U.S.-based design teams to submit plans for an inpatient hospital room that focused on patient-centered care, creating an environment in which patients, their families and caregivers could actively participate in a care plan that would encourage a positive health outcome.

Along with its partners, the Institute built a full-scale model of Kahler Slater’s winning design — complete with furnishings, fixture and equipment — to put on display during the Healthcare Design Conference on Nov. 3-6 in Phoenix. The model was the site of the conference’s Patient Experience Simulation Lab, a workshop that allowed attendees to reenact real-life patient scenarios. The workshop demonstrated the importance of patient-centered care by getting attendees to play the roles of patients and their family members.

The Kahler Slater team designed the room based on insights from patient focus groups, design principles that improve caregiver efficiency and create a healing environment, and the knowledge from a team made up of architects, an interior designer and a nurse/medical planner.

With these factors in mind, some of the room’s key highlights are a family zone, with a sleeper sofa, refrigerator and desk; large windows that allow for natural light; and “smart” technology that gives the patient control of window shades, lighting and room temperature.

Submissions to the competition were evaluated based on the innovation and thoughtfulness used in incorporating the institute’s 10 principles of patient-centered design. A 10-person jury made up of leaders in the health care design field judged the entries. The judges have backgrounds in evidence-based design research, academic research, hospital facility planning, design innovation, government standards for health care projects, patient-centered care and patient-centered design.

For more information on hospital patient room design, read “Patient Room Design Observations.”

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