Reimagining Hospitals for the Future

While on the plane ride down yesterday to the SXSW Festival in Austin, I was flipping through the February issue of Fast Company and came across an article that put a huge smile on my face. It was a visual representation of what the future of design would be for hospitals—hospital 2.0 you could call it.

image of hospital

The hospital has been more or less a place where they get one thing done: get people better and get them home. But this article made me think about hospitals in a new light – part of a collaborative effort to improve communities as a whole.

In thinking about Public Health 2.0 and next level ways of thinking in the field, I feel it’s important to look at cross-disciplinary collaboration in order to meet the increasing needs of the public’s health and well-being. This includes bringing in the design/UXand green aspects of community building.

Of note: hospitals consume twice as much energy as typical office buildings – they are also making it happen all day, every day! Needless to say, hospitals are huge targets for examining efficiency, and the U.S. Green Building Council is developing LEED for Healthcare. With everything from aesthetics (roof garden, cafeteria) and electronic data (medical records) to user design (waiting room, the views) and energy efficiency (on site power, solar power harnessing), the future is looking brighter for staff and patients alike.

As these ideas go from prototype/concept to reality, I hope this new road of inter-disciplinary inclusion will serve as a catalyst in other areas of health.

Shouts to Golden Section Graphics for the illustration.

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