Innovation in Healthcare Spaces: Bettering the Patient Experience Through Design
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The patient experience is critical in healthcare facilities. When patients are in pain, families are stressed, and safety is of the utmost priority, facility and furniture design can make the difference between a stressful and a successful environment. At Beaux-Arts Group, our designers have extensive experience designing custom solutions for healthcare organizations while navigating changes in medical technology, increasing demand for healthcare services, and facility design. Find out how strategically designed furniture for the medical industry can improve the patient experience.
Safe Seating Options
In an environment where many patients are elderly, injured, or on edge, the comfort and safety of waiting room chairs are key. Choose your furniture based on the following features:
- Armrests for support and to help people get up and down.
- Enough space under chairs to allow people to change foot positions.
- Furniture that’s sturdy and durable.
- No sharp edges.
- Ergonomic design.
- Reclining seats.
Consider the comfort of patients or family members who may be overweight. Furniture for healthcare facilities should include one bariatric seating option, such as a loveseat, for every 10 seats.
Ease of Communication and Privacy
Configured waiting room designed to promote communication add a degree of privacy to patient interactions. For example, place furniture in small groupings rather than simply lining chairs against a wall. Arrange chairs so that they’re not in the path of high-traffic areas. In rooms that are open, choose furniture, flooring, and decor made of sound-reducing upholstery or acoustic panels.
Make sure patient and waiting rooms not only look clean but are also easy to disinfect. Choose materials that are designed to reduce contamination and bacteria growth. These materials include smooth, nonporous surfaces and furniture fabrics. Look for seating and tables that are easy to clean, with minimal joints or seams that could harbor pathogens.
Help reduce stress levels for patients and their families by designing with warm colors, high-end finishes such as wood accents, and plenty of natural light. Choose aesthetically pleasing yet comfortable furniture. Studies have shown that natural elements — from nature scenes depicted on screens or in artwork to fountains and live plants — can help reduce stress. Visual and audio distractions such as televisions and soothing music can also help lower stress levels. In general, many patients feel less anxiety in quiet, calm waiting areas.
We’ve seen a new paradigm of care being developed in the healthcare space – shifting from a one-size-fits-all to a patient-centered approach. With this shift in mind, we’ve been able to help our partners in medical facilities create patient-centered spaces that allow medical staff to effectively do their jobs while increasing comfort and overall quality of the experience for the patient.
- Anne Adams Everett, Principal, Beaux-Arts Group
Furniture configuration and design elements in waiting and examination rooms can help keep patients and their loved ones safe, comfortable, and relaxed, which will improve their overall experience and satisfaction at your facility. For help choosing high-quality furniture for healthcare facilities, contact Beaux-Arts Group.