Continuing Education: Healthcare Design of the Future

LeVino Jones Staff Designer Jessica Peckham is pursuing a Masters of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and recently completed a progressive course entitled “Healthcare Design of the Future.”  This interdisciplinary class brought together students from across the institute with the objective of identifying and evaluating opportunities for innovation in healthcare. The class worked directly with the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, observing and understanding their care process, communication and collaboration, their use of space and the overall experience of patients and stakeholders. Once all interviews, observations, and research were complete, groups of 4-5 students identified areas within Aflac for more in depth evaluation. Jessica’s group, which focused on patient experience, noticed that most complaints were linked to a lack of environmental control. For example, patients complained of being cold, not having enough privacy, and high noise levels.  To address these needs, Jessica’s team designed an infusion recliner that would empower patients by providing control over features such as temperature controlled and massaging seats; adjustable seat and arm height; and a “nap pod” that supplied privacy, an entertainment screen, lighting and sound control. All elements were controlled by a touch screen panel on the arm of the chair that also included a patient-nurse messaging system allowing patients to communicate any additional needs. To see the rest of the class’s innovative solutions, as well as past projects visit Healthcare Design of the Future.