Healthcare design and construction has evolved over the years. Facilities are making changes in response to advancements in technology, new patient needs, medical breakthroughs, and increased attention on security. So what can we expect to see more of in our hospitals and medical office buildings? Below are four of the top trends we can expect in 2018.
The healthcare industry recognized a need for convenient and “easy-access” care for patients. The response? Microhospitals. As the name suggests, microhospitals are scaled-down versions of our standard hospitals. These in-patient facilities typically have 20 beds or less and average around 30,000 square feet. They’re located in heavy traffic locations and they typically have ample parking available to make it easy for patients to get to the facility.
- Infection Control
Hospitals continue to invest in innovations that can help reduce the spread of diseases. To help contain infections and bacteria, new construction and renovation projects will increasingly include single occupancy patient rooms and features like offset drains and sloping slides in bathroom showers. Healthcare facilities are also becoming more selective about the materials used in their buildings. Trending products include: sink faucet fixtures made specifically to reduce the splashing of contaminated water, copper-infused surfaces, and special lighting (both of which help to kill bacteria quickly).
- Safety & Security
Technology for access control and enhanced surveillance is of growing importance to healthcare facility owners. Alarms, employee key fob entry systems, and controlled access points are just a few of the control measures gaining popularity. Another trend in the industry has been the separation of the emergency departments. Emergency departments are being built as separate spaces with their own entrances and parking lots which separates the hospital’s general patient population from the emergency traffic.
- Patient Experience
Healthcare is taking a page from the hospitality sector’s book. Hospitals are enhancing the patient experience by implementing hotel-like measures. Central nursing stations akin to hotel concierge desks and higher-end common areas with seating and work stations are starting to be the new standard in hospitals. Other features include dimmable lighting, and “cozier” style private patient suites.