5 Future Trends Predicted to Change Healthcare Design

The current pandemic has led us to rethink about the design of our healthcare spaces in the future. We’re currently seeing five key trends which we expect will shape the future design of hospitals and healthcare facilities.

1. Infection control. Infection control has always been a key priority in the design of healthcare facilities but it will become more important in the coming years. Hospitals across the globe realise now more than ever how crucial it is to specify germ-resistant and easy to clean materials to help stop the spread of infections. Touchless and automated technology will also become increasingly popular.

‘Easy-to-sanitize or naturally germ-resistant materials and finishes make it easier to maintain the high level of cleanliness necessary in a hospital environment. Any material or finish used in a hospital setting should be nonporous and nonreactive when exposed to common disinfectants such as bleach, alcohol, and ammonium compounds. Reducing the number of horizontal surfaces such as ledges can help reduce the spread of infection. Doors and curtains that open automatically and sinks with motion sensors also remove some common avenues of transmission.’ HMC ARCHITECTS.

2. Air Management. The shortage of negative pressure rooms available to deal with the pandemic is another issue which needs to be addressed. Natural ventilation and high-level filtration systems should be designed to keep fresh air coming in while preventing airborne germs from being recirculated throughout the facility. Although isolation rooms are on a separate negative exhaust system, consideration should be given to further isolate ICUs and Nursing Units on their own systems. Increasing the number of isolation rooms per unit can help control containment on a unit.

3. Flexible Design. During outbreaks that flood hospitals with an increase in demand all at once, it’s crucial for to be able to quickly adapt the facility’s spaces to accommodate an influx of patients. It’s important to design spaces with the ability to be able to convert to another function. Flexibility will become a key focus as hospitals explore strategies and design options to be able to easily convert spaces into much needed temporary surgical sites, isolation rooms and ICU’s.

4. Increased tertiary and quaternary care. As primary and secondary healthcare expands into more outpatient or alternative care settings, hospitals will become ever more focused on chronic care, treating sicker patients during prolonged stays. For designers, the challenge will be how to make these stays as comfortable as possible for patients and their families while providing clinicians with cutting-edge, responsive environments to care for the most vulnerable.

5. More accommodating and inclusive spaces. As care options increase, both patients and providers are expecting more welcoming healthcare environments. These spaces must address patient needs, including mental and behavioural health, across a care continuum of multiple healthcare settings from hospital to home. For medical providers, the healthcare environment of tomorrow needs to provide adequate collaboration space for team-based care as well as individual work areas that accommodate the expanding roles of telemedicine and technology.

  Dortek hospital doors in Heartlands Hospital hybrid theatre.

With over 50 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, Dortek have a deep understanding of hospital door design for infection control, air management and touchless automation. Our access solutions have been carefully designed to meet needs for hygiene, flexibility and functionality.

Dortek hygienic doors have a smooth and seamless construction with no ledges, recesses or right angles where dust or bacteria can be trapped and grow. Our doors are free of timber and other organic materials that promote bacterial growth. This makes them ideally suited to hospital areas requiring maximum hygiene and cleanability. Our door systems play an essential role in preventing cross-contamination as well as providing fire and x-ray protection, maintaining correct room pressures and ensuring flexible and optimum operating efficiency.

For more information on how our door systems can help to improve hospital design and aid better infection control and flexibility, please contact us.

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