Healthcare Design is More than Aesthetics, it’s Technical.
It’s imperative that the space is welcoming and provides the best patient experience, this aids in easing anxiety when a patient can be at their most vulnerable as well as creating positive referrals for your business and helping in the patient’s recovery.
- Let’s not forget the clinical and administration staff. The opportunity to re-design is also an opportunity to review the operational flow of the business. It’s often the fact that our team re-design a space that results in improved flow and reduced foot traffic during a typical day. The end outcome is increased profitability for the business and increased staff satisfaction that they ate equipped to do their job better. A welcoming and functional workplace is just as important for the staff as it is for the patients.
- Good design plays a significant role in efficient delivery of high-quality healthcare. Evidence based research shows that planning right from the start can improve health outcomes, reduce operating costs, and support patient-centred care.
Have you considered the technical expertise required to deliver a healthcare space that meets all standards and facilitates essential high-level needs?
Factors such as the following must be addressed and implemented, following national codes and classifications, and if you appoint a qualified and capable design and build team these essentials will be met at the very start – mitigating any costly mistakes in the future.
Research has shown that 75-90% of all hospital acquired infections are passed on by hand-borne transmission. Hardware such as touchless access solutions, hands-free door pulls and antimicrobial coatings will assist.
Provide an efficient logistics system for the handling of food and clean supplies and the removal of waste, recyclables, infectious and soiled material.
Essential inclusions are sanitisation stations throughout and equipped for surgical requirements, laundry dispatch and collection points and emergency wash stations, to say the least.
2. Air Pressure and Airflow Control
Specific doors are required for areas where control of air leakage is essential.
Where appropriate and possible, provide control for individual patients to regulate their own room temperature, lighting, and ventilation.
Provide appropriate areas of natural lighting and views from all patient beds wherever possible. Unfortunately open windows breach safety compliances.
3. Fire Protection
Defending a fire in a healthcare institution is the more preferred option to evacuation. The likelihood of evacuating an entire hospital is rare, however preparation for both situations is critical.
Fire rated doors and hardware can save lives.
4. Safety & Security
Identifying a facility’s security needs is most important. Many facilities are concerned with wander management and patient monitoring.
Safety such as medical duress systems are a requirement. Options such as simple key locks to electronic access, self-closing doors and automatic locks are available.
Hospitals have specific types of requirements for the various doors throughout their facilities, including interior, exterior and gates.
It must be ensured that items such as rails, doors, circulation, flooring (anti-slip) meet disability and all civilian standards.
5. X-ray and Laser Protection
It is integral that staff and patients are protected in these environments. Lead-lined doors are a necessity to shield from radiation produced by X-ray machines and other imaging equipment.
There are national standards that dictate for protection against radiation and these must be complied to in design and procurement.
6. Acoustics and Noise Reduction
Patients need sleep and rest to aid recovery, and a hospital stay can be very stressful and noisy with the opening and closing of doors and the noise of equipment and appliances.
Reducing noise is very critical and can be addressed with the right hardware and solutions such as door seals and acoustic panelling for instance.
Patient rooms, lounges and other patient areas can also be designed around frequently used areas whilst still maintaining connectivity.
Separating patients and visitors from service and logistical areas will also assist greatly.
Providing engineering systems that will operate without compromising
7. Traffic & Accessibility
Speed is crucial in a hospital where decisions need to be fast and response times can be the difference between life and death.
Flexibility and access are key, for example, corridors and doors accessible and mandated closed or open depending on the situation or emergency.
Designing with purpose and function must not compromise hygiene, durability and life-safety. An example may be the cross-corridor openings found in many hospitals. These doors are subject to more use and abuse than almost any other openings in a medical facility. They will require excessive maintenance if not configured with the right hardware.
Emergency access requires much consideration, ambulance entry and exit points with direct and efficient access to the emergency department is essential.
Room size and layout compliance must be addressed. Ensure simple and clear access to patient areas for visitors and outpatient routes within the facility that are distinct from inpatient areas.
8. Materials & Finishes
Materials and finishes used need to service several purposes.
From complementing the intent of the build form to being durable and resistant, they can achieve countless objectives in the design and build end outcome.
For example, in a busy environment with much traffic and equipment, such as a hospital setting, appropriate wall finishes can reduce the impact of equipment moving through the zones.
Considering materials that have resistance to damage and vandalism and the need for minimal recurrent maintenance is essential as well as the obvious requirements of having a positive visual impact.
Our team are extremely qualified in designing and delivering healthcare facilities, such as day hospitals and surgeries, clinical research facilities and veterinaries that require a design with a significant technical component involved.
Ensure you appoint the professionals, talk with the team at Interite Healthcare Interiors. Contact us today.
Mansoor Ali, National Key Accounts Manager, dormakaba: Emerging Design Trends in Healthcare Accessibility, Safety and Security. https://www.healthcareexecutive.in/blog/dormakaba
Author Unknown, Government of Western Australia, Office of the Government Architect: Health Design Standard for Hospitals and Health Facilities. https://www.wa.gov.au/system/files/2021-05/OGA_Health_Design_Standard_03.pdf