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Designing a Hospital? Ask Nurses First

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   February 07, 2012

At Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in Elmhurst, Illinois, nurses were also involved in the design of a new campus, which opened in June. According to the hospital website, homelike design features such as gardens, private rooms, and soothing, natural colors, were incorporated into the space.

Feeling at home is something that Buckner echoes when talking about the nurses' involvement at Cass Regional.

"It feels like home to them because of a lot of the input that they had," she says. "It doesn't feel like a hospital building."

In addition to contributing to a work environment that's more conducive to healing and patient care, Buckner says the nurses at Cass Regional are happier in their jobs. She adds that giving the nurses a say in the design has "absolutely" helped to boost morale.

"I think that people are happier coming to work because of the ownership piece, and I think that they feel more loyal," she says. "Our employee engagement scores really show that the staff are more engaged in the facility, and I think a lot of that comes from them being allowed to have quite a bit of input into the design."

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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