A Quick Tour of Hospital Interior Design
In today’s hospitals, patients are more acute than ever. Staff is overworked and stressed. Money is tight. There are high expectations for the latest medical equipment. Attracting and keeping staff is a challenge. By making the most of your facilities.A hospital environment can and should play a role in helping to put people at ease. Often we refer to creating a “healing environment.” While we know that no environment can heal anyone, it can support the healing process. Let’s take a look at how interior design can affect everyone’s hospital experience in a positive way.
When hospitality interior design and visitors arrive at your facility, think about how they find their way around. For starters, these people are often stressed, so trying to find their way in a large and often confusing environment adds more stress to the situation. Many hospitals have expanded over the years and have added more floors or new buildings to the mix, creating a maze.As a result, way finding is an essential part of creating a welcoming environment, and interior design can help support it. Creating visual cues with artwork or flooring materials – or perhaps something like a water feature – can be more effective than signage in assisting with way finding. For example, you probably wouldn’t forget that you walked past a statue of a life-size giraffe or a large image of an indoor waterfall, as opposed to a sign pointing you in a particular direction.
Let’s move on to the patient rooms, and let’s imagine that you are the patient. One feature I’d like to see more often is an “art cart.” Here’s how it works: After you are admitted to your room, a volunteer comes in with a cart that has a dozen or so framed pictures on it. They show you the pictures and ask you which one you would like to have hanging in your room while you are there. It’s a great way to make you feel valued and gives you some control of your space while hospitalized. It is certainly more healing to look at artwork you enjoy rather than something that isn’t your taste, especially given the multiple patient populations that will be using the space.There is no doubt that a connection to nature can provide a positive distraction. Studies have shown that patients typically heal faster when they have a beautiful view. They may even require less pain medication. Along these lines, having a healing garden somewhere on the hospital grounds that people can explore provides a distraction that can be both therapeutic and nurturing.
Next, there’s the furniture in patient rooms and throughout the hospital. Think about it: When you consider that most business settings are open only five days a week for eight or nine hours per day, it’s quickly apparent that hospital furniture receives the equivalent of three years’ worth of wear and tear in just one year. You must be sure furniture warranties cover 24-hour use.