It is no secret that the healthcare industry have taken an absolute beating over the last two years with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
From extreme staff shortages, density limits and total clinic closures during lock down periods (if emergency services were not on offer) they seem to have had every curve ball possible thrown their way.
When it comes to medical centre fit outs we try to create the most calming environment possible but the above roadblocks certainly slowed things down for medical professionals and patients.
However, if we are to take a positive from this global pandemic, it is the fact Australian’s seem to have become a lot more aware of their health and are now taking the steps required to improve their fitness and wellbeing.
This is where you, and your new medical centre fit out, can take centre stage in what is expected to be a competitive time.
With lockdowns in 2022 less likely (fingers crossed) and more people wanting to take advantage of your health services now is the time to offer your potential patients a clean, unique environment that makes them feel comfortable and safe.
We all know that trends come and go but since the beginning of the pandemic we have seen certain things that are likely to become commonplace within medical centre fit outs from here on in.
Social distancing has become a very familiar and accepted part of day to day life over the last couple of years. Whether you are attending a medical appointment or a music festival, most people seem to have a better sense of personal space these days (thankfully!).
Although it seemed a bit strange and awkward at the beginning there is a sense of comfort and piece of mind that comes along with social distancing today and therefore it is something that needs to be taken very seriously when it comes to any medical centre fit out.
There are many ways to design for social distancing. From signage on the floors and waiting room chairs in order to guide patients on where to stand and sit so they can maintain a distance of 1.5m between them and other patients to reception desk sneeze guards which can be easily installed to keep your staff members safe.
These days patients want to feel like they are being cared for before they even see their medical specialist and therefore it is imperative you set the right tone from the second your patients walk through the front door.
The idea of colour having a positive effect on peoples moods isn’t a new idea but it is still very relevant, especially within medical centre fit outs.
When selecting colours for your new clinic the first thing that needs to be addressed is what the spaces are going to be used for and how colour choice can effect those particular areas.
For example, if your clinic focuses mainly on children you will want the colours you use to reflect this or if you specialise in something such as psychiatry you may want to focus on calming tones such as blues and greens.
Your colour choices should also represent your business and there are many clever ways to incorporate your corporate colours effectively throughout your clinic.
Biophilic Design is the connection between the modern built environment and nature.
These days more and more people are looking to get back to nature as a way of reducing stress and increasing happiness.
It’s no secret that exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally but can also contribute to physical wellbeing, reduce blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension while also reducing the production of stress hormones.
So how can Biophilic Design be incorporated into a medical centre fit out?
Considering today’s “natural habitat” for most of us is largely the built environment it is important we try to incorporate the aspects of the natural word which have proven to have a positive contribution to human health and productivity.
These aspects can be broken up into two categories, the first being direct experience to nature which come in the form of things like air, light, live plants, water and even animals.
The second is indirect experience of nature including natural materials, images of nature, mobility and way finding, the simulation of natural air and light and naturalistic shapes and forms.
We all know design trends come and go and when you are investing in a property that you plan to run your business from for years to come of course you need to be careful that you aren’t designing for the short term.
The last thing you want to do is invest in a trend that has a short lifespan and needs upgrading regularly.
By designing for function not just good aesthetics you are showing your patients care and comfort from the moment they walk into your clinic.