It's official: the design of a consultation room can improve the quality of an outpatient visit. It comes from an impeccable source, the esteemed Mayo Clinic, the first and largest not-for-profit group practice in the world, which has treated patients from Helen Keller and Lou Gehrig to Presidents Kennedy and Reagan.
Nurture, the healthcare division of furniture manufacturer Steelcase, teamed up with the Rochester, Minnesota-based medical center and funded the collaborative research study which was developed and conducted to understand the extent to which a consultation room designed to support present-day clinical encounters could affect the consultation between patients and clinicians.
The study, conducted by principle investigators Victor Montori, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic and Joyce Bromberg, director of Workspace Futures Research for Steelcase, included a Space and Interaction Trial (SIT), which consisted of 63 pairs of patients and doctors. The pairs were randomly assigned to either a conventional room or to an experimental one. The experimental room was designed so that the patient and the clinician were side by side facing a computer screen while seated at a semicircular desk.
Interior Design by Nicholas Tamarin, 11/2/09