The lessons of last year and the rise in COVID patient care nationwide at the start of 2021 leads hospitals and other medical facilities to search for ways to maintain clean and safe environments for patients and guests. Viruses and other pathogens are living organisms that change and continue to spread for their survival. What does not change is the healthcare lifestyle and standard of care. Design trends that adhere to diligent cleaning protocols and maintenance of healthcare surfaces will be the popular trends with those who dispense care and those who receive care.
1. Envision a new space
Waiting rooms of today are no longer filled with rows of chairs pressed together arm to arm and back-to-back and it is doubtful you will see that design in the waiting room of the future. Significant spacing is a trend that is being incorporated into the design of waiting spaces and throughout medical centers. Furniture that is thoughtfully placed to provide the right amount of spacing for social distancing and to create better traffic flow will help keep patients and visitors separated and comfortable.
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2. Consider new surfaces
The trend, post-COVID, is away from surfaces that present a problem in healthcare spaces. As patients are being moved out of the waiting areas quickly, turnover increases, meaning more people will sit in that chair. Healthcare lobbies and waiting rooms need surfaces in these hi-touch areas they can trust to take deep frequent cleaning. Fabrics and surfaces must be able to stand up to harsh cleaners.
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3. Focus on fresh air
Clean air is a must in medical environments. Hospitals and medical offices are moving with all deliberate speed to install and upgrade their air filtration systems to make sure the air is virtually germ free. In addition to lobby waiting areas, it is also good to have several outdoor wait spaces for visitors and staff. Furniture selections in these areas, where fresh air is abundant, are weather resistant and easily cleaned. Select lounge chairs and tables in healing gardens and benches placed along garden paths.