Integrating Keystone Experiences into Holistic Interiors

Keystone Experience illustration of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital entry.


Healthcare facility planning often focuses on programming, operations and patient safety as planners benchmark metrics to improve workflows and clinical outcomes. Yet a growing emphasis on wellness and the patient experience is adding new dimensions to the planning process as research links design to emotional well-being and clinical outcomes. By planning around Keystone Experiences, healthcare facility owners can gain deeper insight into patients' emotional needs to design holistic interiors that support workflow efficiency, clinical outcomes, and human well-being.


Keystone Experiences essentially are experiences that resonate with people intuitively on approaching a healthcare facility, such as a sense of safety, cleanliness, warmth, comfort, and quality of care. Rather than thinking of Keystone Experiences as a planning add-on, consider them integral to benchmarking data that feeds into the planning and design process.


Two recently completed hospitals successfully integrate Keystone Experiences to create holistic interiors that engage the community.

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital facilitated three interactive, community-focused workshops to identify experiences important to patients. Hospital staff and community members interviewed and observed patients, families and other staff members to explore daily experiences in the healthcare environment. The team then categorized the feedback and translated them into narratives that captured the ideal day-in-the-life patient experience.

Similarly, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton held five public forums and several interactive workshops to plan its new hospital. The design team essentially became anthropologists, listening to the voice of the customer across a wide demographic to uncover patient and family needs.

With both hospitals, patient needs served as a guidepost throughout the design and planning process.


Keystone Experiences humanize the complex, program-driven nature of healthcare facilities. By including patients and community members in the planning process, healthcare organizations can identify important attributes that contribute to patients' emotional well-being, promote healthy building interiors, and reinforce a sense of ownership and pride for the community.

Read the full article in Medical Construction & Design.


Topics: Healthcare


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UP CLOSE: Kurt Spiering

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