It was an easy decision to go to private rooms at the new hospital. Offering private rooms eliminates the need to transfer patients due to boy/girl room assignment issues and reduces the need to move patients for infection control issues. Most of all, private rooms allow for families to have some form of sleep space.
Our current patient rooms are cozy. Okay – they’re small. Some are semi-private, or “shared” rooms that often accommodate two patients.
Semi-private rooms and limited family-sleep space are not uncommon for many hospitals that were built before private rooms became a more standard feature. U-M’s children’s hospital has been delivering care for decades prior to when private rooms started becoming more popular with children’s hospitals that haven’t been around as long.
For many families, the idea of being able to rest in the room with their child or loved one is very important. For them, having to share a room is actually less problematic than having to share the limited family sleep space in the room.
We’re about to put all that behind us in our new hospital! From day one, we have been determined to offer private rooms and sleep space for at least one family member in every patient room.
Our goal for the sleep space was to find a comfortable solution that would fit most people.
We also had a set of criteria related to the furniture being functional in a children’s hospital.
- Our interior designers helped determine the color schemes we could work with.
- Our environmental services teams helped us define important characteristics for the material to be easily cleaned.
- The furniture had to be of sturdy construction.
We worked with vendors who supply these kinds of items to hospitals across the country and narrowed our options to several chairs and sofas.
Once all the “finalist” chairs and sofas arrived we sponsored a pizza party and asked family members, patients, adults and kids of all sizes and heights to sit on, lay on and try out each one. The 4th floor of the North Ingalls Building looked like a furniture store for about a month!
Each person who tried out one of these chairs and sofas was asked to complete an evaluation of the furniture. We were able to eliminate many options and settle on the final choices for the new hospital.
This process is just another demonstration of how each step of building this new hospital has been taken with patients and families at the center of every decision. We think the end result in this case – private rooms and accommodating family sleep space – reflects the needs of our patients to have families present and as comfortable as possible during their stay with us.
If you have tried to rest in the hospital while a loved one has been ill, what are your thoughts on the process we used to plan for families in our new hospital?