Architects To Recommend Private Hospital Rooms
The American Institute of Architects on Wednesday plans to recommend that private rooms become standard for U.S. hospitals as part of 2006 guidelines for design of adult acute care hospitals, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
According to the guidelines -- drafted by an AIA committee that includes physicians, hospital administrators, infection control experts, engineers and architects -- private rooms can address safety, noise and privacy issues, as well as help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and medical errors. Committee members said that private rooms also can help hospitals comply with federal medical privacy regulations and that most patients favor them.
Joseph Sprague, Dallas architect and committee member, added that satisfied patients tend to recover faster, which reduces the length of hospitals stays and health care costs.
The new guidelines will affect patients in medical and surgical units but will not affect newborn nurseries, psychiatric units and geriatric facilities, areas in which shared rooms can benefit patients.
Committee member Dale Woodin of the American Hospital Association said the guidelines on hospital design have served as the basis for regulations in 42 states. He added, "This represents the most recent and the best thinking from a group that is solely dedicated to health care architecture."
George Mills, a senior engineer at the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, said that the group supports the guidelines but will not require hospitals to provide private rooms to receive accreditation (Tanner, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/17).