Posted In // Healthcare
Healthcare is big business in the United States: figures from the Census Bureau's most recent Statistical Abstract estimated overall revenue in the field at $1.835 trillion. The sheer magnitude of the sector has made it a niche focus for design, creating such roles as the healthcare interior design consultant and the healthcare furniture specialist.
Let's look at three topics of strong interest to those in need of an original medical design or redesign of an existing facility: research-driven interior design, interior design master planning, and the use of art in healing environments.
The role of research-driven design for healthcare interiors
As healthcare has become a larger industry, research on how space planning and interior design affect the efficacy of healthcare has burgeoned. According to Health Facilities Management (HFM) , more than 1200 studies were published in 2008, compared to less than 90 studies just a decade prior.
The massive volume of data produced from this research enables interior designers to apply "research-driven" models to the recommendations they give their clients. A 2009 survey by HFM showed that 1 out of every 5 organizations utilized findings from research to determine all healthcare furniture and design decisions, while 2 out of 5 were using research data for a portion of their design and construction.
How a master plan can benefit the design process
Healthcare Design magazine features an article describing the elements of a master plan for healthcare interiors, as well as the benefits of developing one. A master plan, which typically includes such components as a description of the needs of the project and an alignment of the process with the mission of the company, is used to organize a design approach and facilitate more reliable outcomes.
Additional benefits of using a master plan for healthcare furniture and design decisions are as follows:
- Simultaneously address branding and regulatory factors;
- Improvements in patient safety;
- Reduction in costs;
- Expedited selection of overall design scheme and furniture; and
- Enhanced consistency of the patient experience.
Art & medicine
Finally, the publication Medical Construction & Design (MCD) recently examined the role of art within healthcare spaces. Art is one way to provide inspiration and beauty to your employees and your patients, and it has real value, as demonstrated by a 2004 analysis conducted by the Society for Arts in Healthcare and the National Endowment for the Arts.
MCD calls art an "important and integral component" of healthcare worldwide, noting that almost 50% of US-based healthcare facilities use some type of art in their healthcare programming.
Selecting a healthcare furniture specialist
The level of broad expertise that is required to develop the best possible design for a healthcare environment is not usually found in one organization. Breadth of knowledge is one way that Beaux-Arts Group is different: with our leadership background in architecture and interior design, we truly "understand" space.