The importance of design for effective healthcare has been highlighted by an industry magazine.
Health Facilities Management magazine says that new construction and renovation projects are "among the most significant investments a hospital can make", and says that completing the project with good interior design can make a huge difference to those who use the facilities.
Good design creates a supportive atmosphere as well as a favourable impression and can improve operational efficiency at the same time, the authors say.
They continue that the design process, from initiation to agreement of a design plan, can take between three months and three years.
"A successful interior design program contributes to the vitality and viability of a health care facility," says Loiuse Nicholson Carter, founding member of the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers.
The magazine describes the result of careful design at the Baylor Regional Medical Centre in Texas: "The result is a soothing environment where healing and comfort are embraced in practice, not just in theory."