The hospitals of old aren’t exactly famous for their comfort or their aesthetically pleasing appearance.
However, as technology advances and generations begin to live longer, we’re seeing distinct changes in medical facility construction and design to accommodate new needs.
New focuses on sustainability, comfort and aesthetics are becoming the new normal as we change the way we view hospital design.
Here are some of the top healthcare construction and design trends you can expect to see in the near future.
AN EMPHASIS ON APPEARANCE
Often undervalued in older designs, the interior and exterior of hospitals can have tangible effects on patients.
When a hospital feels too “institutional” or “clinical” patients are more likely to feel anxious and upset to be there, which can negatively impact their healing.
Studies have shown that the appearance of a medical facility can have a dramatic effect on the patients, the visitors, and the staff which is why newer hospitals are paying particular attention to the general aesthetics of each space.
Adaptability is key as it allows you to make the most out of the space you have available, limits the needs for patient transport, and helps the patient feel more comfortable in their space.
Creating patient rooms that can also function as operating rooms is a perfect example of ideal adaptability.
The implementation of multi-use furniture (sleeper sofas, convertible bedside tables, etc.) is another technique that hospitals have recently begun to incorporate as it better accommodates family members who are visiting a patient.
This helps visitor and patient morale, while also helping the hospital save space.
More and more healthcare construction companies are utilizing indirect lighting in their designs to put patients at ease. Not only is it more aesthetically pleasing, but it is a better option for people with light sensitivity as it better simulates natural light.
Some hospitals even use dimmable lights or multiple light sources to give patients control in their own rooms. This way if a patient is sleeping, for example, and their visitor wants to stay up and read, they can without disturbing each other.
UV lights are another tool that is being used to help maintain higher standards of cleanliness.
The UV light helps kill off bacteria so that patient areas (and even staff areas) stay more sanitary to help prevent the spread of harmful bugs that could spread to other patients.
Probably one of the most noticeable trends of 2020 has been the integration of nature in medical spaces.
Bio areas, nature-themed artwork, and large windows to let in natural light are helping patients feel more at ease, but they are also helping the healthcare workers who spend so much of their time at these facilities.
Having this connection to nature allows people to feel less trapped and can help ward off issues like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as the seasons change.