December 18, 2023 in Healthcare Architecture

What is a Patient-Centered Design for Healthcare?

patient-centered design

Traditionally, healthcare design has focused on functionality and efficiency, prioritizing the safety of the patients and that of the medical staff. However, a growing movement towards patient-centered designing, emphasizes creating healing environments that promote patient well-being and satisfaction. Let’s explore patient-centered design principles and provide practical guidance for implementing these principles into healthcare design.

What is a Patient-Centered Design?

A patient-centered design is a philosophy and methodology that places the patient at the heart of the design process. It involves understanding the patient’s needs, preferences, and experiences to create a comfortable, supportive space conducive to healing. A patient-centered design is not just about aesthetics but also about creating a functional environment that meets the patient’s physical, emotional, and social needs.

Benefits of a Patient-Centered Design

There are numerous benefits to adopting a patient-centered approach to healthcare designing. Some of the key benefits include:

Improved Patient Outcomes

Studies have shown that a patient-centered design can help improve patient outcomes, including reduced pain, shorter stays, and lower readmission rates. 

Increased Patient Satisfaction

Patients treated in a patient-centered environment are more likely to be satisfied with their care.

Enhanced Staff Morale

Creating a healing environment for patients can also positively impact staff morale and productivity.

patient-centered design

Principles of a Patient-Centered Design

Several key principles should be considered when designing a patient-centered healthcare facility. These principles include:

Comfort and Well-Being

The environment should promote patient comfort and well-being. This includes paint color, textures, lighting, noise levels, and temperature.

Privacy and Dignity

The design should respect patient privacy and dignity. This includes providing private spaces for patients to rest, eat, and meet with loved ones.

Social Interaction and Support 

The design should encourage patient interaction and support. This includes creating spaces for patients to gather and connect.

Wayfinding and orientation 

The design should make it easy for patients to find their way around the hospital. This includes clear signage and a logical layout.

patient-centered design

Practical Guidance for Implementing a Patient-Centered Design

Here are some practical tips for implementing patient-centered design principles into healthcare architecture: 

Use Evidence-Based Design 

Base design decisions on evidence from research studies that have shown to improve patient outcomes.

Consider the Patient’s Journey

Design for the journey from arrival to discharge. This includes a thoughtful design process for waiting areas, treatment rooms, patient rooms, and discharge areas.

Create a Flexible and Adatable Environment

Create environments that are simple to modify to accommodate evolving patient demands. 

patient-centered design

Varisco Design Build Group, Patient-Centered Approach for Healthcare Facilities 

Varisco Design Build Group is an architecture and construction firm committed to creating patient-centered environments. Our patient-centered approach is based on the belief that the patient should be at the heart of every design decision. Our patient-centered approach is evident in our healthcare projects, from private medical practices, skilled nursing facilities to hospitals. Our design build firm has a team of experienced designers and builders who are experts in creating patient-centered environments. Varisco Design Build Group is also strongly committed to innovation and constantly explores new ways to improve the patient experience.

Varisco Design Build Group Healthcare Projects

Varisco Design Build Group’s healthcare projects stand as examples of  patient-centered designs.


A patient-centric design diverges from traditional approaches by prioritizing the patient’s well-being and experience over clinical functionality. It emphasizes creating a soothing, personalized environment that goes beyond the standard medical requirements, fostering a holistic healing space.

Yes, cost-effective strategies exist, such as repurposing existing spaces with thoughtful redesigns and incorporating natural elements strategically. These approaches allow healthcare facilities to enhance the patient experience without incurring excessive expenses.

A well-designed environment not only benefits patients but also contributes to staff satisfaction. Positive work environments foster a collaborative and supportive culture among healthcare professionals, ultimately improving patient care and outcomes.

Creative solutions are key for hospitals facing space constraints. Implementing vertical expansions and designing multifunctional spaces can maximize utility, allowing even smaller facilities to incorporate patient-centric elements without compromising functionality.

No, a patient-centered design is inherently tailored to a specific patient population’s needs and demographics. It involves customization and flexibility, ensuring that the design elements resonate with the diverse preferences and requirements of the individuals served by a particular healthcare institution.


Patient-centered design is an essential component of creating a healing environment for patients. By adopting patient-centered principles, healthcare institutions can improve patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and enhance staff morale.

If you are looking for a design build firm committed to creating patient-centered environments, Varisco Design Build Group is the right choice. We are a leader in the healthcare design and construction industry, and our approach is helping to create a better future for patients and their families.

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