The hospital's inpatient mental health facility was undergoing refurbishment. As part of the revamp, staff asked what could be done to demonstrate a more person-centred approach to the environment. Patients may stay in the facility for short to extended periods of time, and are diverse in age, ethnicity, and diagnoses. Due to being a new and unfamiliar environment patients with cognitive impairment, especially those with dementia, can find it difficult finding their way back to their rooms.
Working collaboratively with a geriatrician and occupational therapist in the facility, we developed a collection of frames to identify patient rooms. For the frames, American ash wood was used to contrast the clinical feel of the environment. Due to the turn over of patients, the design inside the frame had to be simple to create and change. Working with staff, we developed a simple template that could be used and printed on the ward as needed. Working with a occupational therapist, patients could choose an image (either their own or one off the internet) and what font they would like their name. This would be collated and then placed in the frame by the patients door.
The frames have recently been installed, and next steps are to evaluate how effectively patients are finding their rooms, how the personalised frames make patients feel like they belong, and what impact they have on families visiting the space.