Reimagine the ICU: Healthcare Professionals’ Perspectives on How Environments (Can) Promote Patient Well-Being

Chan Mi Kim*, Esther M. van der Heide, Thomas J.L. van Rompay, Geke D.S. Ludden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: This study aims (1) to understand the needs and challenges of the current intensive care unit (ICU) environments in supporting patient well-being from the perspective of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and (2) to explore the new potential of ICU environments enabled by technology.
Background: Evidence-based design has yielded how the design of environments can advocate for patient well-being, and digital technology offers new possibilities for indoor environments. However, the role of technology in facilitating ICU patient well-being has been unexplored.
Method: This study was conducted in two phases. First, a mixed-method study was conducted with ICU HCPs from four Dutch hospitals. The study investigated the current environmental support for care activities, as well as the factors that positively and negatively contribute to patient experience. Next, a co-creation session was held involving HCPs and health technology experts to explore opportunities for technology to support ICU patient well-being.
Results: The mixed-method study revealed nine negative and eight positive patient experience factors. HCPs perceived patient emotional care as most challenging due to the ICU workload and a lack of environmental support in fulfilling patient emotional needs. The co-creation session yielded nine technology-enabled solutions to address identified challenges. Finally, drawing from insights from both studies, four strategies were introduced that guide toward creating technology to provide holistic and personalized care for patients.
Conclusion: Patient experience factors are intertwined, necessitating a multifactorial approach to support patient well-being. Viewing the ICU environment as a holistic unit, our findings provide guidance on creating healing environments using technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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