4 Ways You Can Design Your Healthcare Space to Better Support the Patient
Today’s healthcare environments, like most things, are changing in response to technological advances, an aging population, and public policy. While the goal of any healthcare facility has always been their patient’s well-being, a stronger emphasis is being placed on patient-centered care. Defined as the “practice of caring for patients (and their families) in ways that are meaningful and valuable to the individual patient. It includes listening to, informing, and involving patients in their care. It is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” For the architects and designers who will build these spaces with the primary goal to uphold the values of patient-centered care, there are several things that should be considered. Brighter rooms, wayfinding, and amenity spaces are all important things to include into the designs, however, here are four other ways a healthcare space can be designed to better support patient health:
1. Create a patient-centered environment by combining various practices and specialties under one roof. Healthcare spaces support this by offering primary care services, imaging, physical therapy, and rehabilitation in one location allowing doctors to better collaborate on their patient and their medical needs. Large medical campuses and single buildings can often combine two or more specialties through master planning and wayfinding.
2. Set up healthcare facilities in nontraditional spaces. Who said that healthcare can only be provided in a hospital or medical office buildings? Retail settings are becoming a popular option for medical providers looking to incorporate more hospitality aesthetics and experience into their care. Bonus for the patient, these locations are typically in locations that are more accessible and convenient than traditional medical facilities.
3. Incorporate a fitness and wellness studio into the facility. Studies have shown most illnesses can be treated with a healthy dose of moderate to vigorous exercise multiple days per week. In fact, some doctors are writing prescriptions for gym memberships instead of medication. By incorporating a fitness studio into the facility, it allows patients to begin their prescribed regimen right from the doctor’s office.
4. Create a sense of community. For some, even going to the doctor for routine care can be challenging and intimidating. By bringing healthcare and fitness facilities into a retail and community-focused setting, individuals will find that approaching the medical care they require is much more obtainable and comfortable. Healthcare is also a way to bring a community of people together to support each other’s health. Wellness and out-reach programs for communities held in conference centers, blood pressure events, and nutritionist events are all things that can be hosted in the space and won’t cause much disruption on the patient or facilities side.
As healthcare continues to grow to focus more on patient values, it is important that those who build these environments also understand the impact that their design can have on these goals. Creating patient-centered environments provides the opportunity for architects and designers to get creative in how they interpret this term. What are some other ways healthcare spaces can be designed to support patient health? Share with us on LinkedIn!
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