Incorporating more and more digital technology, the design and equipment of hospital rooms, for both outpatients and inpatients, is about to be revolutionised. 

The patient room of the future

The ‘Concept Room’, a prototype for an innovative ambulatory surgery centre designed by Clubster Santé and Lille university hospital, offers a glimpse into the future of patient care. This project, which was presented at the last ‘Health and autonomy’ expo and sponsored by Econocom, won an HIT innovation trophy in 2013.

Find out more: see the video presentation of the concept room (in French)

The ‘Concept Room’ outpatient surgery room, ©Cluster Santé and CHRU Lille

The ‘Concept Room’ outpatient surgery room, ©Cluster Santé and CHRU Lille

In 2009, a team of American designers developed a prototype called Patient Room 2020, which combines state-of-the-art architecture with cutting-edge technology, featuring sensors, monitors and touch screens to manage medical data and enable patients to keep in touch with the outside world.

Patient room 2020, ©NXT Health

Patient room 2020, ©NXT Health

Specific architecture and connected organisation for ambulatory surgery

In a recent publication, Professor Michael Möllman, an expert on the future-oriented design and operation of ambulatory surgery centres, outlined the ideal out-patient surgery facility, and recommends a separate area that is physically attached to the hospital, but with a specific organisation in order to:

  • Optimise and streamline tasks for staff during the waiting, preparation, examination and recovery stages
  • Monitor operations via a centrally-located admission area.

Professor Möllman also recommends a system developed by professors at the University of Adelaide in Australia, whereby a risk assessment is conducted by telephone before the surgery: the surgeon forwards the relevant patient data to a call centre, which contacts the patient. The data from the pre-surgery screening can be accessed by all the hospital staff, including the anaesthesiologist, who can then decide whether a pre-op examination or treatment is required.

Day surgery: reduced costs and better patient care

Same-day surgery is not only a cost-effective alternative to expensive in-patient surgery but also ensures more efficient patient care. Ambulatory surgery facilities in the US, for example, generated savings of $7.5 billion between 2008 and 2011, and these cost savings could reach as much as $57.5 billion over the next ten years, (according to a report conducted by the University of California, Berkeley for the ASCA (Ambulatory Surgery Center Association).

In OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, up to 80-90% of all procedures could be performed on an outpatient basis, but in France, for example, ambulatory surgery currently only accounts for 40% of all procedures, according to the AFCA (French Association for Ambulatory Surgery).

Same-day surgery for patient well-being

Despite these figures, an opinion poll carried out in France by the Institut Curie revealed that 8 out of 10 people would rather receive cancer treatment as outpatients. Same-day surgery is seen as a way to “avoid the feeling of isolation of a hospital stay and maintain one’s psychological well-being.”