Healthcare facilities are so tightly integrated with their function that each part affects the overall experience. Thus, an outdated medical facility can seriously impede the care that takes place inside it. Modern medical equipment and procedures require a space as flexible and patient-centric as they are.
Unfortunately, upgrading a medical building is a massive investment. It can also detract from the patient experience or temporarily shut down vital amenities.
The solution is medical furniture that can transform the space without disrupting its daily flow. These innovative furniture pieces can truly modernize the infrastructure and impression. Here’s how the right seating, tables, and task furniture supports a seamless experience for both patients and staff.
A Better Approach to Medical Building Upgrades
Many healthcare facilities were built years ago. For better or worse, they’ve withstood heavy foot traffic, power usage, and constant cleaning. Some upgrades are inevitable due to such high wear and tear. However, a full renovation or redesign presents a huge challenge. It’s not only expensive, but also logistically difficult.
Construction carries its own set of risks, most notably by releasing dust that becomes a disease vector. Hospital renovations often contribute to Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), in which patients contract viruses or bacteria during their time in a medical facility. Especially during this era of emerging diseases, clinics and hospitals strive to reduce the risk of HAIs.
These are all reasons why many upgrades go uncompleted. Unfortunately, the increasingly outdated design, layout, and fixtures hurt the patient experience. They can also reduce staff’s efficiency and damage the provider’s overall reputation.
So, how can healthcare organizations modernize their facilities without these problems? The key is to develop better infrastructure — and the right medical furniture is crucial.
From Built-In to Built-for-Humans
In decades past, there was a strong architectural trend toward built-in furniture and amenities. While those design features have a certain charm in households, they’re often quite limiting in other environments.
For example, when shelves and tables are affixed to the wall, chairs must orient in relation to them rather than each other. In a healthcare setting, patients with mobility issues remain confined to furniture that’s far away from amenities. Caregivers are forced to navigate a fixed space, which makes their jobs harder.
Healthcare facilities in particular must be highly adaptive and efficient. Thus, a modular approach is ideal. Many healthcare organizations are revisiting their layouts, opting for prefabricated solutions rather than drywall construction. With the right set of medical furniture, temporary partitions, and negative air machines, a single room could serve as an exam space, recovery bay, or quarantine zone.
This modular approach works best when all furniture and fixtures are human-friendly (both in ergonomics and patient well-being). That means focusing on the needs of people rather than tasks.
Designing for Adaptable Healthcare Environments
The COVID-19 pandemic drew attention to the rigid layouts and lack of flexibility in medical facilities. Many rooms were built for a specific purpose, with no capacity to accommodate patients. Caregivers could not easily access the supplies they needed. These issues compounded the crowding problem — yet another risk factor for COVID transmission.
Healthcare organizations realized the potential of multi-purpose furniture, such as stretcher-chairs that could seamlessly transport patients around the facility. For example, the TMM3 from TransMotion by Champion works in both procedure rooms and recovery bays, and it also converts into a stretcher.
Seating with built-in task trays and higher platforms made it easier for staff to care for patients.
In other words, clinical spaces could be designed around the furniture — and therefore the people occupying that furniture. This person-centered approach to healthcare design greatly improves medical facilities’ efficiency, safety, and experience for both patients and healthcare workers.
Innovative Medical Furniture is the Key to Better Healthcare Environments
Large-scale renovation or construction isn’t always feasible for healthcare facilities. And ultimately, it may not solve the core problem, which is a historically rigid design scheme that doesn’t meet human needs. A person-centered approach better promotes wellness and efficiency for both patients and staff.
Multi-purpose, ergonomic medical furniture helps create this supportive environment. It supports modular layouts, stronger patient-caregiver relationships, and overall patient recovery. Browse Champion’s person-centered seating solutions now.