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    Washington Post: The prescription is privacy

    The Washington Post reports on changes in area hospitals; “private” hospital rooms are outpacing the shared rooms.

    The next-generation room being designed at many of Washington’s nearly two dozen acute-care community hospitals will be single-patient spaces – outfitted with flat-screen televisions with updated patient information, big bay windows to bring in natural light, soothing earth tones and a couch where family members and friends can rest.

    Consumer demand for private hospital rooms has spurred hospital renovation and construction projects across the region in the past decade, while research outlining the health benefits of privacy and noise reduction have gained notice.

    A Washington Post analysis of 23 existing or planned hospitals in the Washington region found that nearly all of the facilities have either already converted to all private rooms or are in the process of doing so. […]

    Even Washington Hospital Center, the area’s biggest hospital, with 926 beds, is now majority private rooms and could add more in the future, said spokeswoman So Young Pak. The hospital has long been recognized as the region’s leader in providing deluxe private quarters. It opened its first VIP wing, with soundproof suites and hotel-like amenities, in 1968. […]

    Much of the research into how hospital spaces affect health is the result of a rapidly growing field of behavioral science and architecture dubbed “evidence-based design research.” The research has documented links between private rooms and better survival rates among bone-marrow transplant victims and patients in burn unit, among other results.

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