Lighting In An Intensive Care Unit Patient Room Plays A Role In Quality of Care, Safety, Sustainability, and Patient Comfort

Posted by on Feb 11, 2021 in Behind the Design
Lighting In An Intensive Care Unit Patient Room Plays  A Role In Quality of Care, Safety, Sustainability, and Patient Comfort

Intensive care unit (ICU) patient rooms serve critically ill patients. With requirements for close monitoring and observation, as well as specialized equipment and technology, the physical environment can be frightening for families and requires special considerations to optimize staff efficiency, promote quality care and safety of patients, and support loved ones. Lighting in an ICU patient room plays a role in the quality of care, safety, sustainability, and patient comfort.

Desirable Outcomes of Thoughtful Lighting

Lighting techniques and variation in healthcare design can have several desirable outcomes that benefit the establishment, the staff, the patient and their families. For example:

Improved Patient Mobility and Reduced Falls – This can be accomplished by providing night-lighting located between the bed and the bathroom.

Reduced Risk of Contamination – Can be accomplished by using recessed lighting with minimum ridges, reveals, or horizontal surfaces that can collect dust.

Safe Delivery of Care – Can provide proper lighting for charting, computer monitoring, medication preparation and administration, visual assessments, and monitoring equipment during the night without disturbing the patient.

Reduced Patient Stress, Pain, Anxiety, Delirium – This can be accomplished by providing lighting variation such as bright light during the day and reduced light at night. Also, healthcare designers can select non-institutional-looking finish materials to add soft variety to the environment..

Enhanced Sustainability for the Facility – Can be accomplished by using LED lighting fixtures and occupancy sensors.

With so much to consider, it’s important that healthcare designers take a thoughtful approach to lighting, especially in an ICU patient room.

Information for this post came from The Center for Health Design

Source: American Society of Interior Designers Foundation, et al. “Intensive Care Unit Patient Room.” Intensive Care Unit Patient Room | The Center for Health Design, 2021,–11.

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped modernize healthcare organizations locally, regionally, and internationally, improving patient experience and outcomes. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff

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