Design has not been associated generally with medical practice in the past. Instead, medical technology, including artifacts, instruments, machines, media technologies etc, has focused merely on innovations and developments from the pure technological or abstract financial perspective, whereas design has been neglected. Architectural conceptual arrangements and empiric formats of medical institutions and health care buildings have been concentrated on technical feasibility, resource economy and investment issues, and less on patient´s views, expectations and needs.
That is changing.
Health care, in a giving Western and Non-Western society, is not a side show of economy and politics. It relates today to a highly complex mesh of socio-cultural factors and determinants. A huge and dynamic ensemble of cultural, ethical, juridical, and financial items and social, technological and strategical issues, highly interlaced with each other, are building up the infrastructure upon wich the "system" is predicated and based. Health care and its material realisation: "the clinic", is a pivotal component of our societies.
Health care is everyone´s issue.
...and less on patient´s views, expectations and needs
That's an interesting point. Is there any medical institution in the US that's broken out of this mold when designing a hospitals and clinics?