Visioning with Patients and Family

CAMA believes strongly in engaging patients and family throughout the design process.  Their participation can have a profound impact on the evolution of healing spaces.  Having crisscrossed the country conducting visioning workshops from New York to El Paso, CAMA has collected many personal stories that offer critical insight into health and healing. This collection of stories reinforces the tenants espoused by patient and family centered care organizations, and yet, each individual story, each unique voice, offers a fresh perspective that can inspire the design team in unexpected ways (read Jacob’s story).

Recently, CAMA and HKS Architects facilitated a visioning workshop with patient advisors for Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.  Through a series of storytelling and collaging exercises, participants imagined the qualities of an environment most conducive to healing.  Patients expressed the importance of establishing connections, especially those with nature, people, and resources.

Much of the feedback reinforced the eight dimensions of patient-centered care as identified in the Picker Institute’s landmark study, Through the Patient’s Eyes:

  • Respect for patients’ values, preferences and expressed needs
  • Coordination and integration of care
  • Information, communication, and education
  • Physical comfort
  • Emotional support and alleviation of fear and anxiety
  • Involvement of family and friends
  • Continuity and transition
  • Access to care

One memorable story, involved a patient who was undergoing a procedure in the EP/Cath Lab. Due to unexpected circumstances, his doctor was delayed.  While he waited, he recalled worrying about his family, who unaware of the delay would not understand why the procedure was taking so long and would assume complications.  So often we try to mitigate the stress of family who worry about their loved ones that we often forget that patients, even in their weakened conditions, worry about the welfare of their family too.