Last year I wanted to know your opinion, needs and suggestions regarding infrastructure and spaces in the ICU. After asking to the professionals Vicente Gomez Tello and Laura Diaz, to the ex-patient Jose Luis Diaz and to the family member Manuel López I was very surprised because people with different perspectives have the same opinions: privacy for the patient, natural light, warm spaces “to feel as at home”, comfortable waiting rooms and elements for distraction to avoid the feeling that “the time doesn´t pass”.

All of them demanded human and friendly spaces to improve the experience for patients, family and caregivers.

In the last posts we asked again the professionals: do you believe that there has been an evolution, do you note any change? are is humanizing the spaces in the units?.

The answer is YES, and the process of change has started.

As each person is a world, the ICU are also differents, because they have different priorities and needs. I was delighted to see how Laura and Vincente have told us all the actions that have been undertaken to humanize their IC-HU.

They are aware that investment is needed to improve or adapt existing infrastructure, but there are improvements that can be made and are in fact already being conducted as: installation of curtains for privacy, personalization of space of each patient with photos, drawings, books, music, etc… To worry and care for the acoustic comfort to reduce noise. Also they are testing electronic visual communication devices…

There are units that long time ago have made some of these actions daily and every day other IC-HU are increasingly adding in this sense. An example are #paseosquecuran (healing walks) that are “something new” for many IC-HU but they could normalize adapting infrastructure to make them more comfortable for everyone.

When I was in Barcelona, many of you told me what you were doing in your IC-HU or were considering to make. I’d love you to share it in the comments of this post.

I encourage you to humanize your units. If you feel lost and do not know by where begin, you can download the Humanization Plan of the Community of Madrid (we are working in the English traslation) and seek which of the objectives and activities can apply to improve your units. Without any doubt, the plan is a great starting point for units which want to walk the step from an ICU to an IC-HU.

Because as Vincente sais: “The goal of this section is creating human spaces that promote physical and mental well-being of patients, family members and professionals”.

And to those who are “on fire” – 150% as Laura said- I encourage to continue because is addictive, already know: “Once you pop, you can´t STOP”.


Mónica Ferrero
Interior designer at Lab In Action