Designing and building hospitals are some of the most difficult tasks when it comes to engineering and interior design. Hospitals need to be functional and their design needs to be made with the appropriate medical tasks in mind.
This, in turn, makes them look rather dull and often cold and unwelcoming. That can be a problem for the patients of the hospital since a more welcoming design could make the difficult time they spend in a hospital that much easier.
Hospitals are large systems that use a lot of energy and that need to power a lot of different machinery at once. These technologies shouldn’t be jeopardized at any time, but within this, there are numerous ways to make the system more energy efficient. This encompasses a variety of different principles and approaches: using trees as a natural resource, providing ventilation, thermal control, and allowing for natural light to shine through.
The rationale for this is both medical and aesthetical since the two are interconnected. Studies show that a more beautiful building is also the one in which it’s easier to get well.
You can only build and design the hospital with the technology and the design trends you have at the time when it’s being built. However, it’s not a building that’s built often and it’s important to have in mind that it will remain in use for decades to come.
This means that it needs to be designed to be adaptable and a subject to change that will come over time. This is partly about the technology that might be improved and that the hospital will adopt. It also means that the purpose of particular rooms or even areas should be easily adaptable.
Designing for recovery
In a lot of cases, the design of the room needs to focus on the goal of patient recovery. This goes from installing hospital lighting to making sure that the rooms are easy to clean and maintain. It’s also important to focus on something that was once neglected when it comes to hospital design – the rooms should be comfortable and pleasant to spend time in.
The hospital should also give the patients plenty of space to move around and freely interact with one another and the visitors, as much as it’s permitted by their condition. This too is essential for the recovery process.
It’s also important to have in mind that hospitals need to withstand and remain operational during difficult and unforeseen conditions that make their work more difficult. These could include numerous different incidents: such as pandemics, natural disasters or even wars.
The design should reflect this fact and the building should be made to be resilient to such disasters. It’s also important for the ordinary hospital design to be modifiable so that it can withstand changes such as these while keeping the hospital work operational and safe.
A big part of how the hospital is run isn’t about medicine but about the bureaucratic systems needed to run such a large organization. These systems may seem familiar and manageable to the doctors and other staff involved in running the hospital but they often seem overwhelming and even inexplicable to those who aren’t familiar with the hospital, meaning the patients.
This is something that should be organized from the point of view of the patient. It’s even advisable to monitor how an average patient interacts with the hospital bureaucracy and to build the system from inside out. It will make the interaction with the hospital staff that much easier and safer.
Designing hospitals isn’t easy because hospitals need to fulfill a lot of roles at ones and often it’s the patients that get overlooked in the process. That’s why modern hospitals should be patient-centered in their design from the layout to their lighting.
It’s also important that a hospital is versatile and that it can change and adapt to the developments in medicine, technology and operational styles. It should also be easily transformed so that it can work during emergencies which are especially difficult for medical staff.