Hospitals are increasingly adopting “evidence-based design” architectural strategies to improve patient health, prevent medical mistakes and reduce staff injuries, according to a report in the New York Times.

Single-patient rooms rather than shared ones are one of the prominent features in new designs.

Apart from providing privacy, single rooms are found to help prevent the spread of infections, reduce patient stress and improve sleep, found the Center for Health Design, a non-profit organisation based in California.

Other design principles include providing natural light and views as much as possible, features found to reduce patient stress and levels of pain.

Acoustic materials are also being used to dampen noise, and sight lines created for easy visibility of patients.

With 53 million square feet of land under construction for US hospitals and major additions in 2008, evidence-based design is a fast-growing trend, the New York Times report says.

More than 1,500 studies have evaluated ways in which design can improve the quality of care and patient experiences.

By staff writer.