By: Allan M. Siegel
There is a significant amount of research that indicates we are building
our hospitals wrong. ‘Wrong’ in the sense that the way most
hospitals are currently designed do not improve patients’ health
outcomes, but rather contributes to increased sickness and death.
recent article in the New York Times by Dr. Dhruv Kullar examines some of these studies, including one by the
World Health Organization which noted that 30% of patients in Intensive
Care Units (ICUs) get an infection. It further noted that the longer you
stay in the ICU, the more likely you are to get an infection.
A big part of the problem is that patients have to share space, often only
separated by a flimsy piece of cloth. Several studies indicate that single-patient
rooms are safer for patients. One study found that converting to single-patient
rooms would reduce bacterial infections by 50% and reduce the time hospitalized by 10%.
Additional research found that having de-centralized nursing stations reduce the risks of
fall injuries. The study noted, for example, that “[p]atient falls
declined by 75 percent in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit at Methodist
Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind., which made better use of nursing staff
by spreading out their stations and placing them near patients' rooms.”
There is a lot we could do to improve hospitalized patients’ health
outcomes, and we have the evidence to back it up. Designing hospitals
based on such evidence would dramatically improve patients’ health,
their length of stay, as well as outcomes for families and hospital staff.
Too many preventable illnesses and deaths have occurred just because of
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, we take patients’ negative
experiences with hospital systems seriously. If you or a loved one has
been seriously injured by the negligence of a hospital or doctor, please
give us a
call today for a free consultation to discuss your potential case.