As the healthcare industry continues to become more competitive, quality design in patient areas has never been more important. Patients have increased choices on where to receive care, including many nontraditional providers. Thus, providing a space that supports great outcomes is critical.
There are 3 primary stakeholders in the care experience—patients, the support network (family and friends), and caregivers. Good design ensures each participant’s needs are supported, leading to the best possible results.
The patient should be at the heart of design decisions in both inpatient and outpatient spaces. Offer positive distractions, like views of nature or soothing artwork, to reduce stress and anxiety. Some patients will prefer privacy and quiet, while others might wish for socialization opportunities. Offering a variety of waiting space seating can provide both. Giving patients some control over the environment is very important, so make sure that adjustable furniture like recliners can be safely operated without assistance. Patients also appreciate amenities like coffee/refreshment areas, charging ports, or furniture that incorporates technology.
Patient Support Networks
The patient support network has become increasingly important in achieving a good outcome because family and friends can advocate for their loved ones, ask questions, and make sure caregiver instructions are followed. To support this group, create care spaces that offer opportunities for collaboration, including screen sharing. For longer stays, consider offering places for family members to rest, share a meal, or get some work done.