Most doctor’s offices have been designed with staff efficiency in mind, but post-pandemic, patient-centric architecture has become an area of interest for some startups, and many offices may soon get an overhaul, Inc. reports.
The first reason for these redesigns is rising evidence in favor of supportive design, or creating health care environments that promote healing in a number of ways. Supportive design can lower stress in both patients and office employees.
Second, after the rise in telehealth due to the pandemic, doctors must find ways to convince patients that they need to be in the office.
Entrepreneurs and designers have had to use these elements to build offices that are more functional and comfortable for everyone using the space.
Better waiting rooms are an important feature, and an ideal waiting room may be one where you never have to wait. Floor plans with easy-to-understand exit routes prevent patients from getting confused or lost when exiting exam rooms, and new sound absorption technologies would make hallways quieter and less distracting.
A less intimidating and more functional exam room would include comfortable seating and relatively warm lighting. Computer monitors would be removed, Anjali Joseph, a professor of architecture at Clemson University and director of the Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing, says that’s because the screens act as a barrier between doctors and patients.
Making space for telehealth, which has been growing since the pandemic, is essential. Global architecture firm NBBJ is designing a universal exam room that can be converted into two booths, giving clinics the ability to adapt as patient preferences change.
Respite and work rooms will permit staff to collaborate and recover, and will allow for common areas, along with spaces where staff can choose to be alone.