It is difficult not to notice that many healthcare organizations are evolving. These shifts make sense when it comes to certain factors, not least of which are cost reduction and outcome improvements. At the same time, they are increasing their access and boosting market share. In the midst of this evolution is thinking about how to approach medical clinic design. Contrary to what some may think, a lot of thought and planning goes into making this a success.
Important factors in medical clinic design
Medical clinics of all sorts (ex. dental offices) heavily rely on their design and layout to get closer to success. When pondering how to design your healthcare clinic, you will likely have heard about specific architectural elements. There are ones that work and ones that fail. For example, open-plan style practices and the effect of the right colour palette are common trends in medical design.
However, there are more factors one should take into consideration before commencing their interior design project. The three main ones are the following:
- Adaptable spaces: Movable furniture and fixtures are a budding trend in the world of medical design, especially in waiting areas. Here, arranging furniture to adapt to individual requirements helps visitors feel more at ease. Expanding this to having mobile partitions embellishes this feeling of control. Additionally, it allows patients to adapt to the space.
- Integration of technology: As technology moves forward, so too should the ways that healthcare facilities use them. Some ideas to keep in mind for medical clinic design are digital check-in kiosks and patient survey stations.
- Designs that are biophilic: “Biophilic design” can be described as bringing outdoor elements indoors. Integrating the natural world into your clinic’s design will make the space feel more open and relax patients. Bringing in more natural light into your clinic through glass curtain walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and skylights is a great start. Moreover, an increase in daylight exposure can reduce the amount of bacteria within dust and dead skin cells from humans.
Accessibility & Navigation
When it comes to outlining floor plans, you will want to keep certain factors in mind: clinic access, navigation, and convenience. There are a handful of components that are necessary.
- Identify locations in various languages and utilize universal symbols – as well as numbers – when designing signs. Especially in a multicultural setting.
- Design the clinic as the main source for dental, X-ray, pharmaceutical, medical, and laboratory.
- Build a separate entrance and exit exclusively for mental health patients.
- Construct a welcoming environment for the staff, patients, and their families to add a positive spin to the surroundings. These amenities can include the addition of tranquil distractions such as plant life and water features.
- Provide accessibility to terraces, courtyards, and other types of natural elements.
- Make sure that the furniture fits seamlessly into every section of the building and can be easily readjusted.
Mood influences in medical clinic design
Different colours influence the patients’ moods in different ways. Traditionally speaking, the healthcare industry is linked to sterile white palettes. For many, this is not the most welcoming colour, particularly in waiting areas or meeting spaces. In these locations, you want to reduce hostility and make the patients feel calm.
A Dulux research paper goes into detail about how colours (ex. blue) can be beneficial in these non-treatment spaces. They will decrease any feelings of anxiety. The paper later demonstrates how different hues – like accent walls against a neutral background – can also help with wayfinding. In other words, make areas in your clinic different from one another.
An additional factor that impacts the mood of the patient is space, or a lack thereof. Trends in modern architecture often recommend increasingly open-plan areas that let in more air and light flow. Extra sunlight exposure and less clutter both have a calming effect on office visitors. This open-style interior design does not have to impact your ability to properly seat patients. Moreover, it does not have to jeopardize the fundamental functions of a clinic. The point boils down to being smarter with more adaptable spaces.
The responsibility of medical clinic design requires taking the needs of the patients and staff into account. If the design fails, so too does the clinic. If you want some assistance in making sure your clinic’s design is a success, consult with our Mississauga construction location. Moreover, to learn about how much it costs to build a medical clinic, check out our article, Medical Clinic Construction Costs.