Building Design & Construction Magazine recently interviewed Jocelyn Stroupe, our director of healthcare interiors, on pediatric environments that soothe, support, and distract to improve the patient experience. The article, which features insights from numerous industry leaders, profiles a variety of children’s hospitals that have focused on creating a sense of normalcy for pediatric patients by considering the importance of family members during the design process. Below is a key excerpt:
On Creating a Sense of Normalcy
Children’s hospitals differ from other healthcare facilities in several ways. For one thing, “when you’re treating a child, you’re really treating the whole family,” observes Jocelyn Stroupe, IIDA, CHID, EDAC, ASID, Director of Healthcare Interiors with CannonDesign. So any design should strive to create “a sense of normalcy,” says Stroupe, especially for inpatient care, where kids have longer lengths of stay.
That often translates into designs that perpetuate routines to make patients feel more comfortable, less stressed. More hospitals allow patients to control room environments, such as lighting. And children’s hospitals often include learning areas and even classrooms where patients can keep up with their school work.
At one of CannonDesign’s recent projects, the 141,000-sf St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center in Town and Country, Mo., the firm and hospital worked in tandem to examine how children interact with and perceive healthcare spaces. The facility’s design, in turn, focused on providing opportunities to play, socialize, fantasize, and explore. Writable surfaces hang from patient room walls, sized to accommodate the age ranges that pediatric care touches.