“As the healthcare landscape evolves—and technology, budgets, patient demographics, and industry-specific challenges change—the effective use of furniture and design can help facilities keep pace. With the proper planning, the process of creating flexible, aesthetic, cheerful, and productive environments can be both cost-effective and well within reach.
– Residential warmth: “To support the connection between patients’ comfort and their therapeutic advances, forward-looking healthcare facilities are taking steps to imbue spaces with residential warmth. Borrowing from the “home away from home” aesthetic that has served the hospitality industry well, these facilities are now reducing environmental stressors—moving away from traditional clinical designs in favor of what is more familiar to patients. The ultimate goal is to create interiors that make patients feel as comfortable as possible while still providing an efficient care model.”
– Personalized patient rooms: “Taking design perhaps one step beyond residential warmth, healthcare facilities are increasingly attempting to personalize patient rooms—specifically for their individual inhabitants—as a means to further reduce patient anxiety and stress, while enhancing comfort and overall satisfaction. One way to accomplish this is through the use of pre-arrival patient surveys—inquiring into items such as a favorite magazine, favorite food, and/or favorite color—so patients then can walk into rooms customized just for them.”
– Perfect proportions: “As healthcare facilities strive to increase levels of patient care and satisfaction, they also must accommodate the needs of patients’ families and visitors, as well as nurses, doctors, and other caregivers. In the face of ever-shrinking facility footprints, this can be a daunting task. Space is at a premium, and as facilities incorporate decentralized nursing stations and try to fit more storage and supply areas within units, it can become challenging to also utilize space to create comforting, personalized patient environments.”
– Infection control: nother area where furniture and design can play a role is in infection control. Hospital-associated infections have posed a very serious threat to healthcare facilities, especially with the emergence of multi-drug-resistant organisms. The travel path of infection is unique to each environment and also can affect numerous areas and elements in a hospital, including privacy curtains
– Bariatric care: “Implementing furniture and design solutions that accommodate the needs of bariatric patients also is of growing importance in the healthcare industry, and the amount of bariatric furniture specified for public waiting areas and patient rooms is likewise on the rise. The goal is to eliminate feelings of isolation and intimidation with more supportive and spacious furniture, and to promote more effective patient care.”