It is very important to take care of the spaces. To design them we must know very well the needs so we colect lots of information to project them.

Last year I did a serie of interviews to find out your opinion about spaces and infrastructure in the ICU: current status, needs, and suggestions.

To do this, I asked to professionals (Vicente Gómez Tello and Laura Díaz), José Luis Díaz as an ICU expatient and Manuel López as a speaker for the families.

Many things have happened during this year. The IC-HU Project has had a great impact and continues to increase the number of national and international followers; the II National Conference on Humanizing Intensive Care have been celebrated in Barcelona and the Humanization Plan of the Intensive Care Units of the Community of Madrid has been recently published.

One year later, I want to know if there has been an evolution, if spaces are been humanized interviewing the same professionals.
Laura Díaz is an Intensive Care Nurse of the Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre, and has also participated in the elaboration of the Plan of the community.

– Laura, one year has passed since our enterview. Do you see any change in your ICU?

“I remember the day that Gabi Heras came to the hospital to tell us what The IC-HU project was… He talked about things that many of them we have spent years doing before the project, and he showed us that there were others that we could change or simply to organize, and therefore improve. Since then, many things have last, in a international and national level, and more specifically in my ICU: We started with the Open Door ICU for families… An idea that to the beginning caused discontent and was difficult to assimilate, but step by step experience and see how this helps to the patient, has made us understand how beneficial can get to be. Anyway, we did it before in some special cases or when the situation required it… Just now it has become a routine more of our daily work. 

To hear, as I heard yesterday to the wife of my patient, sayig; “This is the most cool ICU of Madrid, do you know that they let us be with you all day…?”. It’s very gratifying.

In addition, we created a group of humanization by nurses and doctors, in order to promote projects and protocols for its development in the unit, and in the II National Conference in Barcelona we have presented two posters with some of the improvements made to date.

Of course, we continue allowing photos, drawings, books, music, mobile… anything that can bring closer patient to family atmosphere, something that has been done in this unit for years.

The worse thing, and harder to change, is the infrastructure. Our hospital is old, one of the first large hospitals of Madrid, with many architectural barriers, without individual boxes, small spaces… In short, lack of intimacy. Slowly and with much effort (it seems that we are in times of ¨crisis” and the money allocated for changes is clearly insufficient) we have made also small improvements in this regard, as putting curtains between beds, which, at least partially, favors the respect to the privacy of the patient and consequently his family. For me this is a clue point and one of the things for what all the colleagues struggle day to day .

Because the project that has been created is very pretty and certainly very beneficial for the patient, but we need the collaboration of the management responsibles for assigning budgets for improvement to carry it out, because the involvement of health professionals in the project is 150%, without any doubt”.

I want to thank Laura Díaz their collaboration. Thank you very much for answering my question again and remind you that you don’t miss tomorrow Vicente Gómez response.


Mónica Ferrero
Interior designer at Lab In Action