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February 4, 2009

A View on the Room

JAMA. 2009;301(5):486-487. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.47

To the Editor: In their Commentary, Drs Detsky and Etchells1 presented an overview of the debate about single-patient rooms, confirming the current status of private rooms as the industry standard for new construction in the United States. Their conclusion that single-patient rooms are “permanent physical features that potentially could improve safety and patient satisfaction without the need for ongoing staff training, audits, or reminders” presents a partial view of the realities of hospital planning. Notwithstanding the advantages of infection control and privacy, the social and psychological benefits of shared rooms should not be underestimated.