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Designing A Better Hospital Recovery Room, Inspired By First-Class Plane Seats

Being stuck at a hospital might never exactly be fun, but it can easily be more pleasant than lying in a typical grey-walled, fluorescent-lit recovery room. U.K.-based design firm Priestmangoode has taken the design principles from their work in hotel rooms and first-class airline cabins and applied them to this conceptual "recovery lounge."


Patients recovering from minor surgeries would each have their own private space, complete with a reclining bed, personal TV, and storage for reading materials. Because the spaces are modular, they can be manufactured off-site and easily installed. Like hotel beds, the furniture is raised above the ground to make the area easy to clean. The beds are also staggered to make efficient use of space, while allowing nurses to monitor multiple patients.

Priestmangoode's Health Manifesto explains in detail the many ways that better design can improve hospitals. Taking more inspiration from the airline industry, they suggest looking at how airline staff quickly clean and prepare planes after landing to find better places to improve patient turnaround times. Information kiosks at Heathrow, designed to help passengers quickly find flight details, could serve as a model for information booths for patients and family members in hospitals. Among several other suggestions, Priestmangoode makes the point that hospitals can also be much better to look at; more aesthetically-appealing spaces can help speed recovery.

There is a huge opportunity now to use the smart art of design to great effect in healthcare. Design is already proving it can have a dramatic effect in creating better-value, longer-lasting products that are hygienic and better for the wellbeing of patients in hospitals. The next step is to apply this thinking to the design of better value patient environments that take the physical and financial strain off current hospital facilities, in a way that is more efficient for healthcare services and more comfortable and better suited to the needs of patients.

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Read the full manifesto here [PDF].

Images via Priestmangoode

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