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Piers MacNaughton

Light It Up: View Smart Windows Transforming Healthcare

Piers MacNaughtonWritten by Piers MacNaughton

Healthcare has come a long way, from the development of cutting-edge treatments to the design of healthcare facilities. Remember the dark, uninviting buildings of the past? They're quickly becoming a distant memory. Today's healthcare facilities have morphed into bright, welcoming spaces, intentionally designed with patients and healthcare staff in mind. The key element to this transformation is the focus on the physical environment to improve patient outcomes, elevate patient and staff experience, operate sustainably, and digitize the patient experience. Healthcare providers are increasingly looking to amenities like View Smart Windows to bolster these outcomes and create a differentiated experience for their consumers.

Fewer Infections and Shorter Stays

Creating a healing environment goes beyond the latest medical technology – it’s about getting the fundamentals right – clean surfaces, fresh air, comfortable temperature, and a connection to outside.  While much attention has been paid to ventilation rates and air filtration, daylight and views have often been left as an afterthought.  However, decades of research have revealed compelling benefits of daylight into patient rooms:

    • A study by the University of British Columbia showed that daylight passing through View Smart Windows carries antimicrobial properties that eliminate MRSA from surfaces in 24 hours, resulting in an 11-13% reduction in the likelihood of acquiring an infection compared to a room with traditional windows and blinds.1

    • Research by Ulrich et al. in 1984 found a half day reduction in length of stay for patients with a view outside.2 The effect of daylight and views on length of stay has been repeatedly demonstrated, most recently by Jafarifiroozabadi et al. in a cardiac ICU.3 

Value-based care calls for low infection rates and fast recovery times, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) even ties reimbursements back to those performances. View Smart Windows give health systems an edge in meeting ever-higher standards for these metrics.

Woman showing man in wheelchair view through view windows View installation at Methodist University Hospital

Putting the Hospital in Hospitality

Patients are now approaching healthcare with a goal of holistic wellness, not just the treatment of illness. Beyond improving patient health outcomes, View Smart Windows elevate the patient and caregiver experience. A recent study at the University of Vermont Medical Center found that 76% of patients randomly admitted to a room with View Smart Windows gave a 9 or 10 rating on their overall hospital experience HCAHPS rating, compared to 60% of patients assigned to the unit with traditional windows.4 A study by Clemson University showed that patients with access to daylight and views through View Smart Windows gave a 25% higher overall hospital rating when compared to traditional windows with blinds, which was already 75% higher than a room with no window at all.5 Not only do high patient ratings contribute to the hospital brand; they also are factored into reimbursement rates from CMS.

Green Light for Sustainability

While strategies that support better health outcomes and an elevated patient experience are central to the mission of most modern healthcare facilities, sustainability is increasingly factoring into the decision process, with most major health systems committing to lofty carbon reduction targets by 2050 along with facing increasingly strict local codes. View Smart Windows can help contribute to sustainability goals by blocking three times more heat than traditional windows, reducing the cooling load from on HVAC systems in perimeter spaces such as patient and recovery rooms. This energy-smart move translates into reduced operational costs for healthcare facilities and aligns with sustainability efforts—an undeniable win-win.

Digitizing the Envelope

Over the past 30 years healthcare has been transitioning from physical to digital. This has taken the form of digital health records, telemedicine, and web-based/mobile patient portals. Health systems’ physical spaces are the last frontier of digitalization. View transforms the skin of the building into a smart digital interface that tints automatically to control for heat and glare and puts control of the environment at the patient’s bedside. With the rise of smart technology in every aspect of people's lives, patients expect to have a smart, seamless experience during their patient stay.


A person in a hospital bedView installation at Memphis Methodist Hospital

Embrace the Light: Smart Window System for No Additional Cost

Enhancing health outcomes, elevating the patient and caregiver experience, improving sustainability, and digitizing physical assets are four mega trends that are underway in healthcare. View Smart Windows check all the boxes without compromise for facility owners and guides us toward a brighter future in healthcare. The federal government has recognized the value of electrochromic glass in healthcare settings – as part of the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022, tax-exempt healthcare systems are able to get 40% of the cost of the smart window system reimbursed, bringing the cost of View Smart Windows below traditional windows and blinds.


1. M. I., Vojnits, K., Zhao, M., MacNaughton, P. & Pakpour, S. The effect of indoor daylight spectrum and intensity on viability of indoor pathogens on different surface materials. Indoor Air 32, e13076 (2022).

2. Ulrich, R. S. View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 224, 420–421 (1984).

3. Jafarifiroozabadi, R., Joseph, A., Bridges, W. & Franks, A. The impact of daylight and window views on length of stay among patients with heart disease: A retrospective study in a cardiac intensive care unit. Journal of Intensive Medicine 3, 155–164 (2023).

4. Koundakjian, D. C., Tompkins, B. J. & Repp, A. B. Evaluation of a New Hospital Building’s Impact on Clinical Outcomes and Consumer Experience in Medical Inpatients. Am J Med Qual 38, 122–128 (2023).

5. Mihandoust, S., Joseph, A., Kennedy, S., Macnaughton, P. & Woo, M. Exploring the relationship between window view quantity, quality, and ratings of care in the hospital. Int J Environ Res Public Health 18, (2021).

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