Healing through design: An ambulatory and long term care facility

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2005-05

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Abstract

Thesis Statement: Patients who are not disrupted by overbearing stressors like background noise levels, who are given the opportunity to control their own environments, interact with healing gardens, water features, and views to the outdoors are able to spend their time fighting their disease instead of the negative environment they have dealt with in the past.

Scope of Project: In today's changing world of healthcare design, patient centered care has led to patient centered design in which the needs and comfort of the patient is of high parity. Although close to 80% of healthcare organizations have yet to jump on board with these ideas and still operate the classic 1960's style institutional hospital, people like Roger Ulrich, a professor of psychology and architecture at Texas A&M, are leading the way in this trend known as evidence based design. One organization in particular, the Center for Health Design of California, is leading the way in developing this research and making it available to healthcare organizations world-wide. This non-profit organization has developed what they are calling the "pebble" project, with the idea that when a pebble is cast into the water it creates a ripple effect, which is what they hope to create in the health care design world with the few projects they have already built as test subjects, and are beginning to receive back data from. Although the results are clear, evidence based design does work; the ideas that back this movement have not yet been cast in stone with specific results and reasons that are widely known. Such theories include, providing patients with a sense of control, access and interaction with nature, positive distractions, and social support from family members and friends. Context Statement: Rural towns are an excellent example of the people in America that are still afraid of modern medicine and will do anything they can to avoid a trip to the hospital for fear of what is to be found. In the modern age of healthcare design, architects are attempting to reduce this fear of the "institutional" hospitals of the past and create a more healing and refreshing place for patients to come and be treated. This project will house an ambulatory care unit and long term care unit for the people of Post, TX and surrounding areas, a small town 40 miles South of Lubbock, TX. With Lubbock nearby, it is unnecessary to have a full hospital in such a small town, but a facility is needed for emergency visits, and a place for the sick to stay and recover, or just be under the supervision of a nurse when dealing with a long-term illness. The site will be located on the South side of town overlooking the cap-rock to the West and the plains below, with direct access to Highway 84 to the East, which leads to Lubbock.

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Clinics -- Design, Hospitals, Convalescent -- Design, Nature, Healing power of, Post (Tex.)

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