Patient rooms

Male patient in a hospital bed with a female family member sitting on the edge of the patient bed and another female family member sitting on a chair next to the bed.

Design for hospitality in patient rooms

Families and visitors are vital to the patient’s healing process. Create spaces that meet people where they are and accommodate family needs. Reassure patients that their support network is well-supported in the patient room. Design for a sense of community and to provide choice for people.

*Patterson, E. S. et al. A Grounded Theoretical Analysis of Room Elements Desired by Family Members and Visitors of Hospitalized Patients: Implications for Medical/Surgical Hospital Patient Room Design. HERD 12, no. 1 (2018): 124–144.

Power of the guest-host relationship

Creating a welcoming and open patient room environment for patients and their families is important to effective care.

In a study of 846 hospitalized patients, those who indicated their doctor always listened to them carefully were 32% less likely to be readmitted than those who indicated otherwise.

Source: Carter, J., Ward, C., Wexler, D. & Donelan, K. (2017). The association between patient experience factors and likelihood of 30-day readmission: a prospective cohort study. BMJ Quality & Safety bmjqs-2017-007184-9. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2017-007184.


Design considerations

Read on to learn how you can develop intentional patient rooms with hospitality in your facility.


Support the primary purpose of hospital admission—observation, treatment, and care.

Maintain sight lines, especially in the ICU.

Design work areas with clear pathways and ergonomic, height-adjustable documentation stations.

Have a separate guest space where family and visitors can rest and cope.

Intellectual welcome

Improve patient/family teaching and learning with whiteboards and writing surfaces.

Provide movable tables and seating to accommodate family and visitors.

Enable family-centered bedside rounding with ample space for clinicians to move around.

Open table

Add a stool next to patient bed for clinician-patient eye level conversation.

Provide access to beverages for hydration. Consider adding a refrigerator for cold drinks and water for the family.

Products for patient rooms

Treat staff well so they can deliver quality care to patients. Design staff lounges to be safe spaces where they can rest, get nourishment, and connect with colleagues for support and fellowship. Provide furnishings to support community, alone time, or to set food and drink down.

Mora casework in an ash finish and a white solid surface top and sink.

Mora System by Herman Miller

Mora’s versatile kit of parts creates dedicated spaces for consulting, examining, and treating patients—efficient in design and convenient for all.

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Nemschoff Palisade Flop Sofa by Herman Miller

Thoughtfully designed features support the daily activities of guests whether they are socializing, relaxing, working, eating, or sleeping.

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Nemschoff Sahara Recliner in a light gray upholstery with black arm caps and casters on white sweep, viewed at an angle.

Nemschoff Sahara Recliner by Herman Miller

Mobile and intuitively adjustable, Sahara gives patients the opportunity to get comfortable reading, watching TV, or just reclining.

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k. lounge in blue and gray, specified with a cut out for power access.

k. Lounge by Knoll

A modular soft seating series that can be scaled and configured to create spaces to meet the needs of patients and their families.

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Saarinen Table by Knoll

A beautiful and easy-to-clean top stands on a gracefully shaped cast aluminum base, making it a perfect place to set down guests’ belongings.

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Learn more about how hospitality can integrate into other areas of healthcare facilities.

Staff lounges

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Waiting areas

Discover This Space

Male nurse consulting with a female patient and her male family member in a casual setting.

The intersection of hospitality and healthcare

Going beyond food, drink, and accommodation to deliver safe, comfortable, and inclusive spaces.

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Images and sketches of the Nemschoff Ava Recliner.