Healing in the Hospital Starts With the Architect

This write-up appeared in the September/Oct 2020 situation of Find out magazine as “Architecture of Therapeutic.” Subscribe for extra stories like these.


In February 2013, the Middle for Treatment and Discovery, a ten-story medical center in Chicago, formally opened its doors. As the 1st people began to stream in, they brought their microbes with them. They shed micro organism in the lobby, sprinkled viruses about the hallways, deposited fungi in their beds. And they shared these microorganisms with their fellow people, passing them alongside to subsequent occupants of their rooms.

When a affected individual moved into a new area, their entire body was “actually colonized briefly [by] some of the micro organism in the area — the prior occupant’s micro organism,” suggests microbial ecologist Jack Gilbert, who led a yearlong examine of microbes in the new medical center. And that was correct even if the area had been cleaned, he

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