Lighting : Lighting June 2015 - Vol 35 Issue 3
June/July 2015 | LIGHTING MAGAZINE 19 18 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | June/July 2015 ABOVE & RIGHT: Staff bases operate 24/7 and generally do not have access to daylight. These bases are provided with three lighting systems to allow staff to control light levels throughout the day and night. For.Gunzburg,.the.answer.to.meeting.such.a. variety.of.user.needs.lies.in.the.use.of.lighting. control.systems..These.systems.perform.a. multitude.of.tasks:.they.allow.patients.to.control. their.immediate.environment,.providing.different. lighting.options.for.activities.such.as.reading.and. resting,.while.also.allowing.staff.to.access.task. lighting.on.an.as-needs.basis..Gunzburg.says. that.technological.advancements.in.lighting.have. given.lighting.professionals.more.opportunities. to.implement.advanced.lighting.control.systems. in.health.care.projects,.and.that.allowing.patients. to.personalise.their.surroundings.can.have.a. positive.impact.on.recovery.. “A.lot.of.it.comes.into.lighting.control..We.can. provide.several.lighting.systems.within.a.space. which.can.be.individually.controlled.to.suit.the. need.at.the.time,”.Gunzburg.says.. “For.example,.we.provide.the.patient.with. a.light.that.they.can.read.by.–.if.they.turn.that. light.off,.there’s.still.a.general.ambient.level.of. light.that.nurses.can.use.to.do.what.they.need. to.do..That.ambient.light.is.out.of.direct.view.of. the.patient.and.doesn’t.really.interfere.with.them;. they’re.not.looking.up.at.bright.downlights.” The.use.of.daylight.is.also.gaining.popularity. in.health.care.environments,.not.only.for.its. potential.to.help.clients.save.on.energy.costs. but.also.for.its.proven.positive.impact.on. a.variety.of.bodily.systems,.from.circadian. rhythms.to.mental.health..Gunzburg.says.there. is.a.clear.push.for.lighting.designers.to.work. concepts.like.this.into.health.care.lighting.plans,. and.to.use.research.evidence.as.the.foundation. for.their.design.. Says.Quan:..“I.think.how.to.do.that.is.in.the. hands.of.designers.to.use.research,.available. research.evidence,.to.use.some.of.your.creativity.. It’s.innovation,.somehow.–.it.should.involve.some. creativity.in.the.design. “I.think.that’s.where.science.and.art.come. together.”. Obstetrics is one of many health care disciplines in which tailored lighting plans have a demonstrable impact on patient health outcomes. Research from numerous sources shows that women who give birth in an ambient environment with minimal medical equipment on display, low lighting and other design features that depart from those in a conventional birthing room are more likely to labour without pain relief; less likely to require oxytocin, a drug used to speed up labour; more likely to give birth without intervention, such as Caesarean section, forceps or other instrumental assistance; more likely to still be breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks postpartum; and more likely to view their birth experience in a positive light. The flow-on effects of these outcomes for both mother and baby are significant, and hospitals are starting to take notice. According to Professor Maralyn Foureur at the University of Technology Sydney, a design approach that considers patient needs as much as considers the needs of hospital staff is key. Foureur and her team in the Faculty of Health undertook a project to develop guidelines for the optimal design of hospital birth units, with the aim of delivering better outcomes for both patients and hospital staff. According to Foureur, creating ambient spaces in which women had a sense of privacy, security and some control over their immediate environment was key, with lighting a primary component of the overall design approach. “What we currently find is that birth rooms are as well lit as operating theatres, so that there are bright – usually fluorescent – overhead lights, as well as an operating- theatre-style directional light hanging from the centre of the room above the foot of the bed, neither of which is necessary or fit for purpose,” she says. “What the woman needs is privacy, dimmable lighting or very low lighting and certainly not overhead lighting that glares in the eyes of anyone sitting or lying in bed.” Foureur and her team worked with architecture firm Woods Bagot to implement best practice birth unit design principles into new obstetrics spaces at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital. The new birthing rooms have dimmable lighting throughout, as well as adjustable blinds on the windows, allowing patients to better control their lighting environment. While there’s still room for further improvements – “We were unable to locate a sufficiently unobtrusive directional procedure light that could be located where we wanted it to be located within the room- so had to go for what was standard and on offer,” Foureur says – the team believes that birth unit design could be enhanced by lighting designers taking the time to engage with users of birthing spaces – both patients and staff – in order to develop lighting plans that are responsive to the spectrum of user needs.
Lighting April 2015 - Vol 35 Issue 2
Lighting August 2015 - Vol 35 Issue 4