Fall Prevention Through Patient Centric Room Design

A new hospital room that creates emotional and social comfort to reduce confusion – a high risk factor in patient falls.

The Australian Centre for Health Innovation(CHI) is an organization developing service improvements in patient care, health administration, and safety.

CHI links a range of health care providers and innovation pioneers to create meaningful products that are ‘fit for health’ and designed to address ongoing health challenges.

Alexander
Digital Media Design

Jim
Industrial Design

Echo
Industrial Design

Brendan
Science & Communication Design

The client

The Australian Centre for Health Innovation (CHI) is an organization developing service improvements in patient care, health administration, and safety.

CHI links a range of health care providers and innovation pioneers to create meaningful products that are ‘fit for health’ and designed to address ongoing health challenges.

Alfred health is the main provider of health services to people living in the inner suburbs of Melbourne at The Alfred, Caulfield Hospital and Sandringham hospitals. Alfred Health is renowned for instigating progressive developments in health care and services to provide the best patient care.

Both CHI and Alfred Health identified patient falls as a problem in hospitals. Falls white in care can have serious physical, psychological, and economic consequences for both patients and healthcare professionals. They saw here an opportunity to improve wellbeing for patients while addressing cost problems within the hospital system.

The Problem

Existing fall reduction strategies focused on procedure and physical measures to reduce falls. But these strategies we’re failing to address the problem. The team conducted extensive research into the area, focusing on the social and emotional drivers behind the problem.

The major findings of the research showed that confusion and unfamiliarity are a major cause of falls. Incidence of falls could be reduced and a solution based around a new experience and space that accounted for patient needs.

Solution

The team developed a proof of concept prototype called Customer Adaptable Room Environment (CARE). CARE offers an experience that improves the emotional and social elements of a patient’s hospital stay.

Designed for a hospital 25+ years in the future the design integrates patient programmable wall panel displays that feature circadian lighting, bringing the paitents familiar environments to the hospital. Additionally natural materials are used in the design, and a focus is given to storage and space, allowing patients to feel that they have some ownership of the space.

CARE adapts to the individual needs of the patient, providing both familiarity and routine. In addressing these needs, CARE will help to reduce confusion, a major risk factor for falls.