Critical research conducted at West Park was highlighted at the International Healthcare Design conference held in Texas last month.
An article produced as part of the hospital’s Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) titled “Hospital outdoor spaces: User experience and implications for design” was featured as part of the conference’s “Research Matters: Top 10 Picks for the Year” session. It was selected among all published international healthcare design articles from the past year.
“Needless to say, I was thrilled,” says Martha Harvey, Director of Operational Readiness and one of the lead authors in the research project. “It is important to study the effects of the built environment, both inside and out. Research in healthcare design is growing, however there is very little information on the impact of outdoor spaces on the patient experience.
To be recognized internationally for this research is an important and exciting step forward.”
The study involves taking a closer look at the effects nature can have on the patient experience. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 74 individuals (patients, families, and staff) who described their experiences with the hospital’s outdoor spaces.
This study describes the users’ perspective regarding the value of outdoor spaces and the design elements that influence the patient experience. Three themes were then identified:
- Outdoor space benefits healing by helping patients focus on life beyond their illness
- Design of healthcare spaces facilitates patients’ access to outdoor space to benefit healing
- Programming in the outdoor space promotes healing and recovery
The results have been vital to informing the architectural design of the new 730,000 square hospital and its outdoor space.
Congratulations to everyone involved for the recognition of this important research on the international healthcare stage:
- Martha Harvey, Director, Operational Readiness, Campus Development
- Lee Verweel, Manager, Research and Innovation, Clinical Evaluation, Research Unit
- Jan Walker, Vice-President, Strategy, Innovation and CIO
- Victrine Tseung, former Project Coordinator, Campus Development
- Tim Pauley, former Manager, Research and Innovation