Three Important Healthcare Design Trends That Are Here To Stay

by JRSBlogWriterApril 4, 2018

modern hospital patient room

The following three design trends have been around for some time now, however we now have the data to back up the efficacy of these trends. Manufacturers are also on board and now provide products that are not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well. What was once an ideal, is now a reality.

1. Hospitality Design in Healthcare

A 2017 study out of Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration found that patients value hospital rooms with hotel-like amenities.  Interior design ranked top on their list, with amenities like hospitality services, technology such as flat-screen televisions, food and beverage services, and spa services close behind. Even luxury bed linens and mood lighting were highlighted.

Patients don’t just want these luxuries; they are also willing to pay for them. The study found respondents were largely willing to pay higher out-of-pocket expenses—an average of 38 percent— for a hospital room with hotel-like features. However, profit isn’t the only benefit to de-institutionalizing your facility.

Studies have shown that atmosphere plays a significant role in recovery time, and patients who have regular access to daylight have shorter hospital stays, and show improved circadian rhythm, and have a decrease in pain.





2. Universal Design: Going Beyond Accessibility Laws

Universal Design, also referred to as Universal Access, is a concept that ensures the built space is accessible to everyone no matter their age or abilities. Universal Design goes beyond the minimum accessibility requirements set by law.

This design trend is not just about designing a space to accommodate patients and family members who use a wheelchair to get around. It takes into consideration the equipment used and accessories found in a healthcare facility as well. Heavy, hard to open doors are replaced with lighter or automatic doors, and all patient rooms and bathrooms are fitted with ligature-resistant, and ADA approved fixtures and accessories.

Universal Design Bathroom

Creating individual rooms to accommodate a specific type of patient is an antiquated practice. Today, architects and designers are creating spaces that are suited for everyone regardless of their ability, age, or mental state. With Universal Design, facilities no longer have the challenge of finding an available ADA room for certain patients. Every single room is designed, built and equipped to welcome any and every patient. 

The influence of this trend in product design is evident. Here at Whitehall Manufacturing, we’ve held the philosophy that anti-ligature design doesn’t have to look institutional. Our Best Care line of products accommodates Universal Design principles and provides the aesthetics required for the Hospitality Design trend.

list of 7 principles of universal design

3. Evidence Based Design for Patients and Caregivers

The Center for Health Design asserts that a significant and growing body of evidence attests to the fact that physical environment impacts patient stress, patient and staff safety, staff effectiveness and quality of care provided in hospitals and other healthcare settings. They go on to say that basing healthcare facility planning and design decisions on this evidence to achieve the best possible patient, staff and operational outcomes is what evidence-based design is all about.

Where Hospitality Design and Universal Design focuses on the patient, Evidence Based design goes a step further and creates a space beneficial to the patient and the caregiver. When you balance the needs of the patient and caregiver, you increase patient satisfaction, and improve both care quality and employee productivity.

Evidence Based Design is big on data and outcomes and, per a case study in Healthcare Facilities Today, the numbers are impressive. 

In that study, architect Doug Elting of Visions in Architecture, says that a big problem for all hospitals is patients falling when using the washroom or even just moving about the facility. After carefully running simulations and working with nursing and maintenance staff to study flow, movements, and locations of equipment and furnishings, they were able to make design decisions such as creating large doorways and paths that can comfortably accommodate a patient using a walker as well one or two nurses on either side. By employing Evidence Based Design principles throughout the facility, The Butler County Health Care Center in David City, Nebraska was able to lower its number of patient falls by 80 percent. 

For information on Whitehall products that fit into your healthcare design, please contact us, or visit our healthcare product page.