Space for families to stay together

patient room

A patient’s room is the center of his or her hospital experience. It’s not just a place for essential medical equipment and visits from doctors and nurses, it’s the place where patients and families spend most of their time, many of whom travel long distances for extended stays at the hospital. To ensure families can stay together during treatment and recovery, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford recently added 149 new patient beds, nearly all of them in private rooms.

The new patient rooms are designed to be healing, comfortable spaces for the whole family. Bright and spacious, the rooms include sleeping accommodations for family members as well as built-in closets where family members can stow personal items while they remain by the patient’s side. The rooms contain compact furnishings that can be adapted to suit many purposes and age ranges, and the rooms’ large windows feature planter boxes so that visitors can view greenery and maintain a connection to the outdoors.

“From the beginning, the vision for expansion was founded not only in a mission to lead the way in children’s health but also to nurture the whole family,” said Jill Sullivan, MSN, RN, vice president of hospital transformation and space planning at Packard Children’s. Private patient rooms are not just a nicety. Studies have shown that private rooms reduce infection, control noise, and improve communication and patient safety. Packard Children’s new patient rooms are standardized, but they can be adapted to accommodate different levels of acuity so that patients do not have to be moved when their condition changes.

Hospital staff and families were involved in the planning process for the rooms from the very beginning. Full-scale mock-ups were constructed offsite, and input from physicians, nurses, staff and parents helped refine every aspect of the rooms’ design, from the placement of outlets to the firmness of the sleeper beds. Caregivers evaluated the rooms’ equipment placement for safety and accessibility, and strict infection-control standards influenced the selection of many of the materials used in the rooms. The participants’ input was crucial in creating a family-friendly hospital environment that promotes healing and maintains the highest standards of safety and comfort.

For example, monitor cameras and hallway windows allow nurses to keep an eye on their patients without having to enter the room and interrupt family time or disturb patients when they’re sleeping. The new hospital also uses the unique Versus Real Time Location System to help parents and patients identify members of their care team when they enter the room. Staff and physicians wear locating badges that work with the nurse-call system and PackardVision, the in-room smart television network, to transmit signals to sensor locations throughout the hospital. If the patient or family is using PackardVision, when a staff member enters their room, the name and picture of the staff member will automatically appear on the screen.

Each patient floor has a family lounge and shared kitchen and laundry facilities to help maintain a sense of normalcy for families while they are away from home. Common play areas on each floor are designed to provide age-appropriate diversions for siblings and visitors of all age ranges, including arts and crafts, group games, and other activities.

In-room entertainment options include Wi-Fi access, mp3 charging stations, iPads, built-in gaming console and headphones so patients, visitors and families can stay tuned in during their stay. All rooms have a large, flat-screen TV and a smaller bedside console for patients to access educational videos and medical resources through the PackardVision network. A large wall panel with an erasable surface will be positioned at child height so kids can draw, doodle or leave messages.

Packard Children’s new patient rooms prioritize the patient’s experience while allowing the entire family to participate in the patient’s care and act as the patient’s best advocate.


One Response to “Space for families to stay together”

  1. Janice

    This is such uplifting news! Involving the people from all perspectives who will use these rooms was brilliant. It seems common sense reigned as well.
    Honoring the families and patients, these rooms are for healing. I have been at my husband’s bedside for more than 30 hospitalizations under very different circumstances. Now there is hope for a more humane way!
    I am grateful to all who created this.


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