Two century-old hospitals that are now part of UNESCO's world heritage and the recent trend concerning 'healing environments' inspire to take a short trip in history...
At 300 BC the Greek were already well aware of the role the environment could play in the healing process. The Romans perfected the Greek ideas further, providing buildings and cities with a sewage system, bathhouses and aquaducts. One century ago, spread across Europe, hospitals and sanatoria were built, taking into account the effects of hygiene, colour and lighting to the healing process of patients.
In this presentation, best practices from one century ago (the 'Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau' in Barcelona (Spain) and the 'Sanatorium Zonnestraal' in Hilversum (Netherlands) and Paimio Hospital in Paimio (Finland)) are compared with the recent best practice at St. Charles Medical Centre in Redmond (Oregon, USA)).
It will become clear that the knowledge how to make a health stimulating environment is there and is based on centuries of experience. 'Modern' is the attention that is paid to the 'mood' and 'behaviour' aspects of the healing environment. The role of the behaviour of staff and volunteers in putting the patient in a good mood and in stimulating healthy behaviour of the patient is an important aspect. Here lies a great challenge for facility management, a great chance to prove 'added value' as a 'healthy thinking' advisor.