Healthcare Interiors: Things to Consider when Planning a Hospital

When it comes to healthcare interior design, you need to remember that hospitals and medical facilities have their own unique and complex set of specifications. Hospitals are comprised of an array of services, and units within the hospital must be functional for their specific purposes.

Services include patient care, clinical laboratories, surgery and emergency rooms, imaging and diagnostic rooms, and hospitality areas for things like food service and housekeeping.

Every single aspect of a hospital’s interior design is dictated by maximum functionality. This extends to floor plans, floor coverings, wall materials and colour scheme, surface materials, ergonomic beds and other furnishings, and much more.

Hospital Layout

A hospital is configured around its functions for streamlined processes and easy flow. Functions within a hospital can be broken down into six main areas:

  • Inpatient (beds)
  • Outpatient
  • Diagnostic and treatment
  • Administration
  • Service (e.g. food and medical supplies)
  • Research and teaching

This must promote efficiency, minimising distances travelled between spaces that are frequently used.  Space must be included for wheeling patient beds and other trolleys around corners, into elevators, etc. Visual supervision of patients must be enabled, and support spaces must be included. Space should be used efficiently and with a high level of functionality across all areas.

Aesthetics

Hospital patient areas should maximise use of natural light and textures as much as possible for a more positive experience and faster healing. Colour schemes should be chosen carefully as well – for example, use calming or neutral colours in any area where people are likely to be feeling sick, such as in a chemotherapy suite. Public spaces should be bright and open. Patient rooms need to be homelike and comfortable whilst retaining functionality.

All areas need to be fully accessible for beds, prams, and wheelchairs. Any glass walls and large windows need to be obvious to all members of the public.

Hospital Surfaces

Nowhere is cleanliness and hygiene more important than in a hospital. All functional surfaces must be durable, extremely easy to clean and maintain, with the ability to be sterilised. Floors should be laminate or similar, with carpeting limited to foyer areas and public areas only. Walls should be easy to clean and furnishings should also be chosen for cleanliness. Consider detailing of doorframes, finishes, etc to avoid hard-to-clean joints, crevices, and other areas that will trap dirt and germs.

Specialist materials and finishes are the key to maintaining sterile spaces, such as Wilsonart Chemsurf Laminate. Chemsurf laminate is designed for highly corrosive environments, is resistant to acids, alkalis, and solvents, and is easy to keep clean and sanitised. It is ideal for specific applications including bench tops and fascia panels in laboratories and on hospital countertops. It is designed for both horizontal and vertical applications, and is available in ten stylish colours. It is more affordable and more versatile than stainless steel.

The interior design of a hospital is a huge undertaking and is comprised of many parts. When all these parts are compatible, carefully considered, and work together, the hospital will be an outstanding physical facility.

 

Disclaimer

The ideas, views and opinions expressed by the authors in this blog do not necessarily reflect the position of HVG Decorative Building Products. All data and information provided in this blog is for general reference and inspiration only and cannot be used as an official guide to any interior building jobs. The company will not hold liability for any errors or omissions in this information or any losses or damages arising from its display or use.