You might wonder – does interior design really matter when it comes to healthcare facilities? Research shows that the environment of a healthcare facility affects the patient’s well-being. Creating a more inviting space and atmosphere helps to reduce anxiety and stress. Of course, a healthcare facility’s interior design should be aligned with the clinical requirements and regulations as well. The key is to find a balance between both. Here are some tips to balance both interior design and clinical requirements for healthcare facilities:
1. Prioritize Infection Control
Did you know certain materials could cause a patient to suffer from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)? Therefore, when it comes to the interior design of health facilities, some requirements should be met. It is not just about looking good. Maximizing infection control for healthcare interior design should be a high priority. Here are some ways to reduce infections:
● Although sanders are often used as finishing touches for most hard surfaces, when it comes to healthcare facilities, antimicrobial coatings along with the sander would be the better option as the final touch for all hard surfaces. A few examples of antimicrobial coating are polymer brushes, graphene materials, and copper. As for sanders, the Black and Decker Orbital Sander and Makita Circular Sander are recommended to be used.
● All glass, steel or ceramic surfaces should be coated with photoactive pigments to reduce the spread of infections. As for hard surfaces, copper would be the best option as it contains natural antimicrobial qualities that could kill microbes such as E.coli, adenovirus and influenza A.
● In operating and treatment rooms, Indigo LED lighting should be installed as it helps to reduce the spread of infections because of its antibacterial qualities.
2. Create A Welcoming Atmosphere
Would you rather sit in a cold, unpleasant waiting room or a soothing, calm environment? The look and feel of a patient’s surroundings could significantly impact the overall well-being and health of the patient, including their family members or loved ones. Here are a few ways to brighten up the environment:
● Play around with plants and nature. Plants are known to have multiple benefits including boosting mood and productivity. There are several medicinal plants like tulsi, mint, and catnip that provide health benefits to the human body as well.
● Make use of artwork and colors. Earthy colors and wooden furniture creates a calming effect on a patient’s mind, body, and soul. Wall murals are also known to trick minds into thinking the room has more space. Do not just pick any mural though; certain murals make walls look like a piece of art, which is what you should go for.
● A few types of designs you could consider to create a welcoming environment would be minimalistic or Scandinavian designs.
● Make use of comfortable furniture such as sofas and coffee tables.
3. Design An Area For The Little Ones
Waiting rooms are not just for adults – kids come by as well. They are often scared to go to hospitals, making it a hard time for their parents as well. A standard room design may work for adults, but it could be terrifying for young ones. Dedicate a special area as a play zone for kids and include toys that are easy to clean, a shelf full of books to read, and a couple of coloring pencils or crayons for them to draw. Aside from giving the kids activities to do, the play zone’s environment should be bright and colorful. Choose wall murals that reflect a cheerful pattern, so when the kids look at it, they instantly feel at ease and comfortable.
A Healing Environment For Patients
Interior design helps to build an emotional connection between doctors, nurses and patients. The design of healthcare facilities is not to accommodate medical equipment, but for the people that exist in the buildings. Creating a comfortable environment would not require a big budget. Bringing in a couple of plants, trees, and flowers could make a huge difference to brighten up the atmosphere. But if you have a bigger budget to spend, you could consider using the latest technology made available to most hospitals by installing Virtual Reality equipment or telemedicine services. Times have changed; with the endless possibilities of advanced technology, there are plenty of ways to explore and make it a tech-savvy healthcare facility.