Healthcare Interior Design – Focus on care community
Over the past few years, healthcare interior design has started moving out of the box, to focus on design approaches that are not completely patient-centered. This could be attributed to the rising focus on the creation of healthcare spaces that foster communication and collaboration among the care community, or the healthcare staff.
Healthcare interior designers have adapted their design approaches with the ongoing healthcare reforms, taking into account the fact that more interactive and interdisciplinary staff areas in a healthcare interiors can directly influence the overall growth in the sector. Hence, design approaches are being modified to address the growing need for functionally-efficient healthcare spaces.
Importance of staff workplaces
Patients stay in a hospital for limited period, whereas the health staff has to deal with the ongoing patient flow, and the care community is involved in an unending job to make sure that there are no obstructions to clinical care at any stage. However, we need to realize the fact that the well-being of the patient community is directly associated with the capability and efficiency of the healthcare staff up to a greater extent.
Several research studies suggested that interior design of the workplace plays a major role in influencing the overall productivity of the staff, in any sector. In healthcare spaces, workspace design contributes to employee health and safety; operational efficiency of the workplace; and quality of patient care. In this regard, healthcare interior designers focus on creating spacious and comfortable rest rooms, corridors, living areas and work stations for the clinical staff.
Design Considerations for Staff Workplace interiors
Healthcare interior design has shifted from strictly patient-centred approach to a more flexible design methodology to address the unmet needs of the healthcare staff and clinical care. Meanwhile, rapidly evolving healthcare technology has led to drastic changes in routine functional-level aspects such as procedures, record-keeping and communication. By the way, some of the most widely-used design strategies of the interior designers are as follows:
- Given the fact that there is a great need for evolution in the healthcare interior design and architecture in order to result in new and efficient care delivery models, two major areas are under a drastic paradigm shift, one being procedure space and the other – patient rooms.
- Distance between the staff workplaces and the patient support areas are minimized to provide convenient environment for the staff to spend more time on direct patient care in the rooms.
- In some healthcare facilities, collaboration spaces are created adjacent to, or near to, the clinics to support caregiver meetings, patient record reviewing, and teaching activities.
- In an attempt to provide privacy to healthcare staff, staff rooms are provided with doors that can be closed when needed, or kept open in order to facilitate flow between the examination rooms.
- Most healthcare spaces are opting for accessories that help provide more natural day-light and fresh air, and an outdoor view, as a means to reduce workplace stress.
- It is quite common that inpatient clinical staff spend more time in gathering supplies, medicines and tools; changing over used and unclean patient rooms, as well as checking in to charting areas.
- Hence, patient rooms are being clustered around decentralized staff work areas, while spacing them adequately, in order to prevent time being wasted due to walking from one room to another, and using the stairs or the elevator.
Considering the shortage of skilled clinical staff, and increasing patient needs, it is very much essential to provide the healthcare space’ valuable resources – the care community – with essential facilities to convert the workspace into a more efficient and productive environment. Moreover, an appropriate healthcare interior design has the ability to improve patient outcomes, staff efficiency, and overall satisfaction.
Source: Healthcare Design Magazine