Project Profile

Balance Between Privacy and Surveillance

Current patient room design does not allow patient to control their level of privacy. Also, the use of blinds and curtain in the windows increase the cross-infection risks. The project proposes the use of the privacy window system, which increases the patient control on the environment, increases caregivers surveillance, and increases safety in the patient room. In addition, the window can be used as a projection screen and can allow the patient to have a “green” view.

There are different types of applications to increase the patient surveillance, such as electronic monitoring systems and the use of glass on different surfaces. Electronic monitoring systems provide uninterrupted observation of patients, however, they can’t take the place of the caregiver’s direct surveillance. Moreover, the use of glass on doors or windows allows the caregiver to monitor the patient. And in this system, privacy is provided by blinds or curtains. However, evidence shows that this system increases cross-infection risk and does not allow patients control on the level of their privacy. In relation to that problem, by considering patient centered design, we are questioning how we can enhance the patients’ taking control of their own privacy/visibility and caregiver surveillance, and how we can increase patient safety. The ultimate objective of this project is to increase patient comfort and reduce patient stress level by providing the patient self-control of the environment; to increase nurses and family surveillance in addition to monitoring equipments, and to increase patient safety.

  1. Site observation and diagnostic through visits that were conducted in several hospitals;
  2. Literature review of books, articles, and magazines;
  3. Interviews with nurses;
  4. Discussion of design solutions with nurses, engineers, and an environmental psychologist;
  5. Development of a 1:50 scale model;
  6. Analysis of the visibility of the final design strategy;
  7. Test through a mock up.

The proposed project empowers the patient and enhances the healing process by allowing the patient to control his field of view. In addition, the solution requires a discussion between patient and caregivers in relation of who and when has the control of the level of privacy. As a consequence of these, there will be a more efficient healing environment.