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Hospital Design Has Little Effect on Patient Satisfaction

Aesthetics aren’t as important as care from doctors, nurses, and staff, researchers note

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Hospital design has little effect on patient satisfaction, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Researchers analyzed surveys of 5,663 hospital patients in both newly renovated facilities and older facilities. “Our team wanted to know how important aesthetics are to a patient’s experience with care. So we looked at surveys from patients before and after a move. We then compared those results to satisfaction surveys from patients being cared for on similar units that had not undergone a move to a new facility,” study author Zishan Siddiqui, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a university news release.

“We originally thought new and pleasing surroundings would improve patient satisfaction scores with physicians, nurses, and overall care, but our study showed this is not the case,” Siddiqui said. “Hospital leaders will have to stop blaming poor patient satisfaction scores on aging buildings and units.”

“Although we did see significant improvement in facility-related satisfaction scores [in newer facilities], we did not see significant change in satisfaction related to care, or overall satisfaction, for that matter,” Siddiqui added. More effective ways to improve patient satisfaction include training health care providers on personalized care, educating patients, and involving families in care decisions, according to the researchers.

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