Facta universitatis - series: Architecture and Civil Engineering 2010 Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages: 293-305
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Hospital outdoor spaces: Therapeutic benefits and design considerations

Nedučin Dejana, Krklješ Milena, Kurtović-Folić Nađa

The awareness of positive influences of outdoor environment on patients' healing process has long been present in hospital architecture. Despite the fact that economic factors had the greatest impact on hospital design during the past century, which caused a neglect of possible restorative benefits of hospital surroundings, recently developed and integrated healthcare systems are more focused on patients' needs regarding the effects of treatments and services on their satisfaction. With the aim to reduce costs of medical therapies without sacrificing their quality, this new approach resulted in a substantial shift in planning and designing of both indoor and outdoor hospital spaces. This paper presents an analysis of various aspects that need to be taken into account while planning of hospital outdoor spaces. It proposes a list of design considerations that may contribute to achieving a healing environment with positive effects on patients' well-being and outcomes of their medical treatments, while simultaneously raising the overall hospital's efficiency. Having in mind specific organizational structure and functional flows that an institution of this type comprises, these considerations are determined, preconditioned and set up to meet strictly defined norms, regulations and criteria. The purpose of this research is to examine which elements and features and to what extent may assist in generating a supportive, inviting, secure and non-threatening atmosphere of the outdoor hospital surroundings that discharges negative reminiscences, experiences or assumptions on how unpleasant the stay in a hospital may be.

Keywords: hospital outdoor space, healthcare outcomes, healing environment

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