How Interior Design Can Help Healthcare Facilities
As an essential part of any business, interior design can make an enormous impact upon your office or retail space. It serves as a visual representation of your brand; it establishes your credentials to your customers and competition; and, it can help delineate your core business values to all of your visitors.
And yet, interior design can do so much more, especially when it comes to healthcare facilities. By being receptive to all the ways it can shape and mold an interior space, interior design can be used to improve and upgrade a healthcare facility in ways that are far beyond just decoration.
- Raising morale
When incorporated into the planning process at the start of a build or renovation, interior design can be instrumental in turning a medical facility into a safer place. By fulfilling the needs of patients and facility staff with sensible solutions, interior design can help create an environment that benefits everyone’s wellbeing.
Medical facilities have special requirements that other professional workplaces don’t. By incorporating these requirements as fundamental elements instead of extraneous add-ons, interior design can heighten the value of these elements.
For instance, many healthcare facilities are equipped with mobility ramps and railings for low-mobility patients. Instead of adding them as an afterthought, a good interior design can boldly incorporate these elements into the space from the start, showcasing them instead of diminishing their appearance.
As well, interior design can help make a healthcare facility safer by utilizing surface materials that are easier to clean, but also don’t pose any danger, such as non-slip floors. The design can even go so far as to include materials like antimicrobial copper, a type of copper alloy that kills 99.9% of bacteria that come into contact with its surface within 2 hours.
What’s more, owing to the new normal caused by COVID-19, medical facilities need to mitigate the transfer of airborne diseases. As such, interior design can do their part to help keep healthcare offices safe by featuring hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations and increasing air ventilation as part of the interior design.
By being practical and consistent with the purpose of its environment, interior design can make medical facilities much more effective and safe places when receiving and providing healthcare.
2. Raising morale
From just appearances alone, interior design is very effective at changing the way people feel. And while this is used to great effect in other industries, interior design can do so much more for medical facilities. That’s because in this situation, it is used to raise morale and promote healing.
While nothing can take the place of proper medical attention, these life-saving procedures need to take place in a suitable environment. Interior design can fulfill this purpose using decor and colour/lighting.
Decor: The way a room looks has a lot to do with the way it was designed, and for healthcare facilities, this has traditionally meant that they have had to look like what their name implied. However, healthcare facilities have become much more open to using decor as a way to influence moods and emotions.
Instead of dour and somber, doctor offices are experimenting with bright colour schemes. Instead of uncomfortable chairs and monthly subscriptions to Reader’s Digest, waiting rooms are filling their newly expansive spaces with comfy sofas. As well, medical practices have increasingly started using green plants to give off a natural mood.
By appealing to a higher purpose over aesthetics, medical facility decor can help patients get better quicker by stimulating recovery and reducing boredom.
Colour/Lighting: Colours can be so influential; walking into a room of a certain colour can be like walking into a mood. Wall colour has a direct impact upon emotions, and good interior design will incorporate this phenomenon to great effect.
Red has the effect of raising blood pressure by increasing heart rate, while blue lowers blood pressure. Green reduces anxiety, while natural colors help people feel peaceful.
More than that, room lighting has a tremendous impact on people. A dark room will cause people to feel lethargic, while a bright room with large windows and ample lighting will brighten everything up.
To create a proper environment for your healthcare facility, you need to provide a place that is peaceful and uplifting. A decor and lighting plan that is sensitive to the needs of patients and staff will be greatly beneficial towards raising morale.
A traditional approach to interior design for a healthcare practice is to set clearly defined purposes for each room in the facility: a waiting room is for waiting, and a patient room is for patients. But as demands and responsibilities rise for healthcare providers, so too must their facilities adapt to meet these requirements.
For this reason, medical facility interior design needs to show its adaptability with multi-purpose rooms, thereby suiting different purposes for different client demands.
One way medical practices can make their facilities much more adaptable is to offer a flex space. A flex space can change into different rooms whenever the need arises: a consultation room, a private waiting area, or an additional office space.
As we can see, interior design can change an office in so many ways other than looks. No matter what type of business you run, interior design can optimize your business to be safer and more effective!
Want to learn how to improve your office? Read our blog to find out how to improve workplace wellbeing at your office, or for practical tips on how to survive an office renovation..
Do you want to make your workplace the best it can be? Do you have a healthcare facility that needs a renovation? Sensyst creates premium office interior designs for all types of businesses. Let us know how we can help!