A World View on Patient-Centred Care Design

A World View on Patient-Centred Care Design

First published on Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin – September 15th, 2015

Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash


Jill Joseph is a leading healthcare planner and designer, having worked across the US, Europe and the Middle East as a consultant for Herman Miller Healthcare. This year she visited Australia to educate architecture and design firms on patient-centred care and evidence-based design for the healthcare industry.

In working with both new design and redevelopment projects, Ms Joseph has been able to pass on her experience and the information that Herman Miller has gained over the last 40 years. She credits her international experience with the exposure she has had to cultural differences in approaches to care, manufacturing and business models.

“Increasingly, designers of hospitals have a triple aim: they need to reduce costs, improve the quality of their facility, and get more people through the door. We have found the way to plan for this is a convergence of sustainability, evidence-based design and lean manufacturing.”

A key finding from Ms Joseph’s work is the amount of waste that hospitals produce, and this needs to be factored into the facility’s business model. The waste management budget is often one of the largest running costs a hospital faces.

“Take for example patient rooms that need refurbishment or repair. In a traditional fixed design, a tradesperson would come in, pull out the millwork and create a lot of dust, dirt, noise and waste – not to mention shutting down the room which means less patient beds – and this affects many departments negatively. As opposed to new room design products such as a finished architectural wall which is designed to change, with tiles that pop off the wall for reconfiguration and modules for easy insertion or removal,” she says.

This kind of planning, with modular design for flexibility and integration with core systems such as gases and utilities, is how Ms Joseph along with her colleagues in the design world believe is key to ensuring buildings have the ability to not only last for the next 50 years but also grow and adapt to our changing healthcare needs…