Hospital design may not contribute to patients’ satisfaction with the care given by their hospital professionals, according to new research from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. Newly built hospitals often emphasize patient-centered features like reduced noise, natural light, visitor-friendly facilities, well-designed rooms, and hotel-like amenities, note the authors, led by Zishan Siddiqui, MD, attending physician and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins.
When Hopkins moved a number of its hospital units to the sleek new Sheikh Zayed Tower in 2012, researchers used a pre-post design experiment to compare patient satisfaction in the newer, more pleasing surroundings via Press Ganey and HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey scores. Patients responded positively to the new environment, with significant improvement in facility-related satisfaction, but were able to distinguish that satisfaction from their ratings of their doctors and nurses, which were not impacted by the new environment.
“It is more likely that provider-level interventions will have a greater impact on provider level and overall satisfaction,” the authors conclude. “Hospital administrators should not use outdated facilities as an excuse for suboptimal provider satisfaction scores.”