Whenever we think of healthcare services and what needs to be improved, hospital designs are the last thing to consider. We usually talk about free healthcare, improving the quality of treatments, better medications and whatnot. However, hospital architecture isn’t something you should take lightly. Rather, it plays a very important role in the patient’s safety, experience and services of the hospital. And while it is not something you can change or invest in so frequently, designing them right is critical.
Here are some reasons why healthcare architecture is needed and how you can do it.
- Effective design contributes to patient safety
Though it may not seem like it at first, the hospital design can make a big difference in patient safety. With careful planning, architects can add isolation areas and create segments across the hospital floor. This can help control the spread of infection as well as control access to critical care zones. Adding local medical storage and well-spaced corridors can mitigate the risk of medication shortages or delays while moving patients. Additionally, having protected zones and isolation areas can help reduce the chances of putting patients at risk. Many other such aspects can hamper the safety of staff and patients without proper design and planning.
- Systematic designs can improve navigability
Hospitals are busy places and often are flocked with people moving across the wards. And it is natural to get lost in all confusion and chaos. However, if you put your best architects together to design a more intuitive layout, you can save such problems. Using light colour schemes, design and lighting can make it easier for people to move across. Moreso, in case of emergency evacuations, this can be particularly helpful.
- Comfortable and relaxing ambience for staff and patients
Healthcare facilities, especially hospitals can sometimes feel like a suffocating place. With unwell patients and stressful hours for the medical staff. However, choosing the right design and adding some pleasant elements can help make people feel comfortable. For the patients, finding a comfortable home-like ambience can help with their mental health. At the same time, for the medical professionals, an ambient place could help them relax and cool off.
Studies show that our mental health is greatly influenced by our surroundings. And anxiety or stress can hamper patient recovery and people’s ability to work. Therefore, a well-planned hospital space with natural elements is good for both patients and doctors.
- Well designed hospitals mean smoother services
Imagine getting across a corridor while it is crammed with people. Or talking to your colleague in a crowded room with lots of noise. Now in that situation, nothing gets done and it’s just more confusion. Same is the case in hospitals, but there, the stakes are bigger and a mistake can compromise one’s health. In a well-designed hospital with considerations for crowd management and optimized floor plans, things get seamless. The doctors and medical staff can respond to emergencies easily, and patients can be moved comfortably. Critical care areas and controlled spaces can be monitored and limit general access. Overall, it can make everybody’s life easy and improve the patient experience at the hospital.
- Improves people’s confidence and boosts the hospital’s reputation
As a popular catchphrase rightly says, ‘what looks better, sells better’, looks can make all the difference. When it comes to healthcare, people want the best care and will choose someone they can trust. A hospital that looks in a state of chaos and unmanaged might lose confidence among people. On the other hand, a facility that is well maintained has organized wings, has professional staff and is adequately equipped scores better. So, it is always a good idea to hire an architect to help plan the aesthetics and overall experience of the hospital.
Increasingly, many hospitals are recognizing the importance of creating comfortable and friendly facilities for patients. Many top architects are also specializing in and offering focused design solutions for the healthcare industry. But, it is not only the appeal of the complex but also the equipment and effectiveness of the design that matters. Therefore, it is important to account for all critical aspects of everyday activities and challenges of hospitals when designing them.