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Could Standing Enhance the Patient Experience?

May 3, 2016

It’s no secret that height-adjustable desks and stand up workstations are becoming more and more popular in the workplace. We’ve seen the positive data surrounding the physical benefits to our health. These include increased circulation, improved mental clarity and burning more calories. But, does this translate to a healthcare clinic setting? Do these same affects apply? It only seems fitting that the same physicians who encourage us to alternate between sitting and standing while we work should also take the opportunity the incorporate sit/stand solutions into their work environments. KI recently partnered with BBH Design and Parkland Health & Hospital System to research healthcare design in the outpatient clinic. Through thousands of observations of physicians, nurses and patients we found that prolonged sitting didn’t just have negative physical implications but also limited communication. Findings concluded that:

  • Physicians were 88 percent less likely to speak with a nurse while sitting.
  • Patients were 66 percent less likely to speak with nurses while sitting.

From these conclusions it’s obvious that standing may not only physically benefit those working in healthcare environments but may also positively impact dialogue and communication between providers and patients. This adds up to an enhanced care experience.

Stand for Health

How can providers promote standing interactions in their clinic settings? Here are a few opportunities:

  • Incorporate flexible sit-stand solutions throughout a clinic
  • Use adjustable tables that can be easily moved and used in various areas of a clinic
  • Provide café-height tables and stools in areas where patients may be meeting with staff to promote additional opportunities to stand
  • Allow providers to use sit-stand workstations

So the answer is yes, healthcare clinics, their patients and staff benefit from environments that promote standing. Providers will become more engaged, alert and productive while patients will experience a heightened level of interaction with doctors and nurses.

For more ways to incorporate standing and techniques to increase patient communication, download our white paper “The Communication Factor: Observations & Opportunities for Improving Clinic Design”.

by Deborah Breunig  VP of A&D Marketing

As Vice President of A&D Marketing, Deborah is responsible for building and nurturing relationships with significant influencers and decision-makers throughout the Architectural and Design community. Deborah has been a key marketing contributor to KI for more than 20 years. She most recently served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing – Healthcare. She is responsible for all aspects of A&D strategy; including business development and execution of strategic business and marketing plans. Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from Bellin College of Nursing and an EMBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a licensed registered nurse in the state of Wisconsin and an Evidence-Based Design Accredited Professional (EDAC) with the Center for Health Design.

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