Creating a new healthcare facility is a complex undertaking, and today’s medical professionals are seeking a unique blend of interior design, space flow, practicality, and functionality in their practice fitouts. The impact of this design and construction process goes beyond healthcare professionals and their teams; it profoundly influences the patient experience.
In the past, medical spaces often exuded a clinical and sterile atmosphere, evoking associations with hospitals, harsh fluorescent lighting, and the unmistakable scent of antiseptic. However, as healthcare evolves, the focus has shifted towards a holistic approach that encompasses practicality, functionality, and the user experience, all of which can be subtly influenced by design and layout.
Given the inherently stressful nature of medical visits for some patients, it’s essential to create an environment that puts them at ease and makes them feel comfortable. A welcoming reception area plays a pivotal role in forming initial impressions. Incorporating calming colours, providing comfortable seating, and introducing distractions like wall-mounted televisions or play areas for children might seem inconsequential, but they can significantly impact patients’ perceptions and alleviate their anxiety.
Adding elements of the natural world through ‘Biophilic design,’ which brings the outdoors indoors, can create a more relaxing atmosphere. Greenery isn’t just for aesthetics; it increases oxygen levels in the space, a natural relaxant for anxious patients. Additionally, maximising natural light exposure, depending on the property, can help reduce the presence of bacteria and allergens in the environment.
Inside individual consulting rooms, privacy and soundproofing are essential considerations to minimise distractions and external noise. A calming colour palette, comfortable temperature control, and softer lighting, as opposed to harsh clinical lighting, contribute to patient comfort.
In today’s tech-driven world, clever technology plays a crucial role in healthcare facility design. Digital check-in kiosks, for instance, reduce patient interaction, especially important for older or more vulnerable individuals. Moreover, technology streamlines the patient process, potentially eliminating the need for a large check-in reception desk.
Like any fitout project, early contractor engagement (ECI) proves highly beneficial for healthcare professionals. ECI fosters collaboration between the client, design team, and fitout contractor, ensuring that the project’s buildability aligns seamlessly with the proposed design.