When it comes to healthcare design within a medical environment dealing specifically with serious behavioural issues and mental health it is important to make sure you have a strong understanding of what patients will require in order to feel safe and comfortable before and during their appointment.
With mental health statistics growing more and more every year we can see that people that may have previously been suffering in silence are starting to speak out. The next step is for them to locate a healthcare facility designed specifically for their needs.
Certain things need to be taken into consideration when designing for healthcare and something that may seem small could in fact make a huge impact not only on the visiting patients but also your staff when it comes to safety and being comfortable within their working environment.
Floor Plan – Keeping your staff safe is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a business owner and getting your healthcare facility floor plan right from the beginning is one of the best ways to do it.
When designing your new healthcare facility layout take the following into consideration:
- Ensure your doctors always have easy access to the door by positioning desks in a way that they do not have to pass a patient should they need to exit the room quickly.
- Where possible make sure all public amenities are at the front of the practice and visible to reception staff. Although it may seem like a good idea to hide the toilets in the back where no-one can see them you want your patients to feel comfortable that they can easily access the amenities and this also reduces the risk of any patients wandering around the clinic, possibly gaining to access to consultation rooms or staff areas
- The installation of duress buttons under desks is a great way to make sure your practitioners are safe at all times and know they can easily get help if they need it
Furniture – Another important element of healthcare design is selecting the correct furniture.
- Choose seating that won’t take up too much space. With the new Covid safe rules you want to be able to fit the recommended amount of patients in your waiting room comfortably. By selecting chairs that are too big you may run out of room.
- For safety reasons it is best to select seating that has a sled base as opposed to legs. This reduces the risk of damage should a chair be lifted up and used as a weapon. The same goes for upholstery, make sure all upholstered chairs have hidden staples to avoid removal
- Items such as side tables that can be secured to the floor are recommended and if securing to the floor is not possible we suggest selecting items that are too heavy to be lifted easily by one person
- Do not have decorative items such as vases etc accessible to patients
This is not to say you can’t decorate your new clinic to make it look welcoming, there are many things you can do to give your healthcare facility a modern, comforting look that will not pose any risk to staff or patients
- Use calming colours such as blues and greens. These colours can be used in interesting ways through laminate, vinyl flooring, vinyl decals for walls and of course paint.
- Live plants are not only nice to look at but they also promote a calming environment by cleaning the air, absorbing toxins and increasing humidity. Installing a live plant wall becomes not only a beautiful feature within your healthcare design but is also good for your clinic
As you can see it is easy to make your healthcare facility a calming yet modern place for patients and staff alike.