Healthcare design trends transform the patient experience into one of a warm inviting environment and away from the past clinical experiences of yesteryear. Today HCAHP scores rate the patient experience and can have a very definitive result on how a hospital is perceived by the public and can affect up to 2% of their Medicare reimbursements. In addition, hospitals receive a star rating for their overall HCAHPS scores which give consumers more data to aid in the choice of which hospital to have their next surgery. Below you will find the latest healthcare design trends for furniture. Keep in mind healthcare centers are now viewing worn surfaces, like furniture for hospitals, as a financial risk.
Moving away from the clinical experience
By using more hospitality-like furniture in waiting and reception areas, a soothing environment with a more familiar setting for the patient is created. Aesthetics play a key role in the visitor’s comfort and can help make a positive association between hospital and home. Healthcare furniture should be able to accommodate a crowd and look clean. Warmer to the touch polymers that look like wood should replace steel and wood that can crack and etch from cleaning and harbor bacteria.
The Personal Touch for Patient Room Furniture
To reduce patient stress, pull-out sleepers, extra chairs and even favorite meals can be brought to the hospital room to ensure all the comforts of home. Favorite magazines can be placed on bedside cabinets that hold personal items safely out of the way. Data grommets on bedside cabinets, sleeper recliner sofas that free up space and over-bed tables with fresh flowers assure the patient experience is a stress free and relaxing one. Hospitals are gearing up for the greying of America, according to healthcare design trends. Today 50% of emergency room patients are over 65. By 2030, 42 million seniors are expected to enter ERs. Hospitals must consider patient room furniture that supports an elderly clientele.
Healthcare Furniture Hygiene
With the proliferation of multi drug-resistant organisms, cleaning and disinfecting furniture for hospitals has never been more important. Interior Designers at many leading hospitals have decided they will no longer specify wood on future projects. In 2015, Johns Hopkins was the first to publicly ban wood on their future projects. Purchase patient room furniture with non-porous solid surfaces with rounded corners and clean lines to help reduce hidden bacteria and dust. Durable, bleach cleanable healthcare furniture with vinyl upholstery is key to a safer environment for patients as well as the staff who care for them and the furniture. Furniture that looks like wood but does not have any of the drawbacks of wood is preferred. This furniture is moisture impervious and can be cleaned for at least 10 years using any of the EPA-registered antimicrobial products against C.diff. (even 100% bleach) without diminishing it’s surface integrity or appearance. Metal frame chairs continue to be a popular choice, but are cold to the touch and can become scratched, compromising the surface and thus prone to harboring bacteria.
Purposeful Waiting – Waiting Room Furniture for Hospitals
In a hospital lobby or reception, everyone is there for the same purpose – waiting. But how they wait can be expressed and addressed differently. Healthcare furniture products such as bench, tandem and bariatric seating blend seamlessly with lounge and other arm and armless chairs, as well as occasional tables to provide reduced-stress waiting zones. Hospitals are also designing types of waiting rooms based on seating styles to indicate types of treatments and/or lengthy wait times. These purposeful waiting locations are becoming more than just places to sit and wait. Healthcare design trends have seen these areas turning into locations for workstations, where busy guests can get work done or children can play on tablets. Lounge islands are also incorporated into these new multi-purpose lobbies, where more comfortable seating and occasional tables reside; designed for whole families to congregate.
Healthcare Furniture Moves Outside
Well-designed outdoor spaces can and do have a major impact on health-related behavior in healthcare settings. As a matter of fact, healthcare design trends have shown that people who interact with nature have a brighter outlook, a positive attitude and more energy. Outdoor settings can also have a calming effect, resulting in decreased blood pressure and lower stress levels. Benches placed along walking paths for exercise for patients in rehab are popular, as are sunroom areas for dining.