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10 Trends Designing the Future of Healthcare


As a space planning and interior design company specializing in healthcare design, we share a common concern with many of our clients: the continuing development of the healthcare market. As in any field, a strong sense of emerging trends helps those of us in healthcare and related fields understand how the market can be expected to change over time. In other words, no one wants to be left behind, so we stay ahead of the standard expectations through education.

Part of the way that trends emerge is through information-sharing, often in the form of interviews or surveys. To get to the heart of healthcare development, DPR Construction performed research that included the use of both information-collecting methods, interviews and surveys, in a study that lasted 12 months. By gathering knowledge from experts throughout healthcare and affiliated industries, the research team was able to focus on several trends that will have major implications for areas including workspace design.

The study concluded in the report “The Future of Healthcare,” published August 2012. Healthcare Design followed up with an article outlining the DPR study. Although new trends have emerged, this two-year-old study still has value, as discussed below. We will also take a look specifically at one of the trends, sustainability.

Healthcare trends survey parameters & results

The survey conducted by DPR both surveyed study participants and conducted face-to-face interviews. The participants in the study represented leadership throughout the healthcare field, including chief executives, consultants, and healthcare design advisors.

Experts in healthcare expected the following major, industry-wide changes to be central over the next few years (so in other words, these trends should be even more noticeable today, such as strengthening of the tripartite connection between space planning, technology & healthcare):

  • Hospitals will be streamlined, both physically smaller and founded more principally on integration.
  • The three-way link between interiors, technology & healthcare will become more evident as both digital and workspace design systems experience rapid development (as with the increasing use of cloud computing to expedite medical research).
  • Most healthcare businesses will center their efforts on outpatient care.
  • Building renovation and adaptive reuse of healthcare environments will become more prevalent.
  • Sustainability will become an even bigger point of focus.
  • As occurs in any vibrant field, especially one with such a strong focus on innovation and research as healthcare, delivery methodologies will continue to adapt.
  • The typical age of staff is increasing, as is the typical age of each patient. Because data shows those increases, experts believe that demographics will become of growing importance to decision-makers.

Trend focus – sustainability

Janet Howard of GreenBiz argues that sustainability can be used by healthcare companies to better engage their workforce, resulting in better care. Howard notes that a survey of 20,000 healthcare professionals conducted for the 2010 Towers Watson “Global Workforce Report” found that only one in two had a positive perspective toward the way their company was run. Specifically, a huge number of staffers did not feel that leadership was honest or concerned about other people.

That assessment may sound bleak. However, changing leadership perceptions to better engage staff and create better patient outcomes can be achieved through simple tweaks of healthcare environments and systems. A wise path forward can be determined through the intelligent, research-driven workspace design practiced by Beaux-Arts Group. Call us today so we can get started meeting your specific needs.