Proposed Innovation of Redesigned Hospital Rooms
USA- San Francisco, CA | Aug 12 2012 | (23:22:01 - EDT)
In a speech before some of the nation’s leading hospital and healthcare executives, Michael Graves explained how his innovative approach to healthcare design was a result of his personal experience being suddenly stricken with paralysis and having to recuperate in eight different hospitals.
Graves, an award-winning architect and product designer famous for his collection of home products sold at Target, addressed the standing-room only crowd during a special event hosted by the Antimicrobial Copper program of the Copper Development Association (CDA) at the 2012 Health Forum and the American Hospital Association’s Leadership Summit in San Francisco, CA.
In his lecture, “People First: Redesigning the Hospital Room,” Graves described how he combined his architecture and product design expertise with his personal struggles maneuvering in hospital rooms to realize that these are “dumb, dumb rooms that we are making….the money that should be spent on the patient room is instead being spent on hospital atriums to make them look like hotels.”
He further challenged himself by asking this question: “Can we design furniture that can lessen infections?” In his presentation, Graves pointed out a green growth on the bottom of a greasy particleboard table, noting that the growth wouldn’t be a concern if the table was made of copper, but it was not. He then showed how he had specifically designed large handles into furnishings which gave the orderlies only one place to hold and fewer places that needed thorough cleaning.
Graves’ rehabilitation also brought to light other poorly designed hospital features.
“I know who designed this bathroom – experts!” said Graves, referring to observations made during one rehab stint about the poor placement of the sink, inaccurate height of the mirror and the electrical outlet all being out of reach. He found the rooms and amenities to be designed with a painful obliviousness to the needs of patients rehabbing from an injury or suffering from a disability.
Graves’ lecture also focused on his design solutions for Stryker Medical, a leading hospital furniture manufacturer, including a collection of hospital patient room furniture that address common hospital problems such as infection control, patient falls and clinician back stress.
CDA’s Antimicrobial Copper Program teamed up with Graves because his healthcare design innovations closely parallel their own work and efforts to promote the use of Antimicrobial Copper in healthcare facilities as an infection control practice.
Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) objects made from Antimicrobial Copper surfaces harbor 83 percent less bacteria on average, compared to stainless steel, plastic, and wood touch surfaces, according to a recently published study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are the fourth leading cause of death in America with 100,000 patients dying each year; making Antimicrobial Copper’s ability to cut down on this number a new, game-changing advancement in the fight against preventable HAIs.
“HAIs can be fought from a materials perspective and a design perspective,” said Dr. Harold Michels, Senior Vice President of the Copper Development Association. “That is why we were so excited to hear the buzz around Mr. Graves’ discussion among the healthcare leaders after the event. In the years ahead, cutting down on HAIs will and should be the top priority of the healthcare industry, and we need to use all of our resources, both new and old, to help solve this problem.”
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