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Hospital Buildings Can Heal According to First Comprehensive Report on Impact of Physical Environment on Child Patients
Date:5/7/2008

DENVER, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hospital buildings can heal according to the first comprehensive report to look at the impact of the physical environment on child patients in health care settings. The report Evidence for Innovation, Transforming Children's Health through the Physical Environment is produced by the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) in partnership with the Center for Health Design. Findings from the report are being presented today at the NACHRI Facilities Design Conference in Denver.

Based on a scientific review of 320 evidence-based design studies in the academic literature that apply to the field of pediatrics, the report concludes that the physical environment of health care settings affects the clinical, physiological, psychosocial and safety outcomes among child patients and families.

According to the report, minimizing or eliminating the harmful effects of such environmental factors as loud noise, high light levels and infectious pathogens should be the goal of children's hospitals and other types of hospitals providing pediatric services. In particular, the neonatal intensive care unit has been the focus of many interventions proven effective in improving infant health outcomes.

The report prioritizes top design recommendations and breaks them out by those that can be implemented at any time at low cost and those that can be implemented during renovation or new construction at moderate to high cost. Examples of proven low cost design recommendations implementable at any time are:

-- Hand washing dispensers at each bedside and in all high patient volume

areas

-- Incubator noise reduction measures (earmuffs, sound absorbing panels) in

the NICU

-- Circadian (cycled) lighting in the NICU

-- Artwork and virtual reality images to provide positive distractions

Examples of proven
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SOURCE National Association of Children?s Hospitals and Related
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