Since the mid-eighties, we have many research studies supporting that people experience the built environment on an emotional level and this has a direct relationship to well being, recovery time and pain management. (Ulrich, 1984, Kaplan, 1995) Patients and their families experience this emotional connection at a heightened level since they or their loved one's health is in jeopardy. To achieve patient satisfaction and speed recovery, there must be a focus on the patient's intrinsic needs. The patient experience should be calm, comfortable and give them control over their environment.

Design plays a key role in calming patients and assuring them that they are in a stable, safe and secure environment where they will be taken care of. Nature has been proven to be the most effective way to relax and can be beautiful and spiritual across cultural boundaries. Nature's restorative and therapeutic qualities are engrained into our subconscious. 

Comfort is vital to our well-being. In a healthcare environment it can be accomplished several ways. Family, a sense of home, privacy and dignity are core essentials for putting the patient at ease. The space must be as quiet as possible, clean and professional expressing the quality care being delivered. 

Patients are in a vulnerable state being poked and prodded which can sometimes make them feel like they are losing their sense of self. Healthcare design should empower patients with choice and control over their environment and creature comforts. By providing patient controlled options and choices they will feel more at ease which lowers stress.