What Really Makes Healthcare Design Work

Listen to the Podcast – Healthcare Interior Design 2.0 The Lightning Round

In this lightning round podcast, listen to Monika Smith, Design Director at Apex Design Build, on what no one is talking about in a healthcare project that they should be talking about. Monika shares, “When many of the doctors we serve in private practice decide to build their own practices, they often don’t ask themselves the question, ‘How will my practice stand out in the marketplace?’” That and more on what’s right with healthcare design, what the industry will look like in the year 2040!

What really makes a design work in Monika’s opinion is a blend of three things. Function, Purpose, and Aesthetics.

The function of space relates to patient and staff flow, and the space adjacencies. This is a crucial foundation for good design.

The purpose of design differs from client to client. For example, is the design supposed to be calming, distracting, or engaging? Is the purpose supposed to appeal to the masses or only attract specific clientele? Does the design have a marketing purpose? is it supposed to portray a brand?

Aesthetics is when the design concept or theme needs to be developed and be unique to the provider and the community they plan to serve. The aesthetics essentially carry out that design purpose. What makes a design truly good, is not just controlling the balancing act, but the process, in which you are developing all three elements simultaneously. So that they all have an equal part that is intertwined and in support of each other.

As for what Medical office design may look like in 2040, I think we will see more emphasis on experience-based design. More on the patient and family-centric design and design geared towards the patient’s convenience. For example, there may be more multi-specialty healthcare offices. Where say my teenager sees her dermatologist, while I speak to my nutritionist, and my husband is waiting and sipping on a cocktail in the lounge area.

Or will the healthcare provider come to the patient instead? Will there be more mobile healthcare providers, that pull up to corporate space complexes? Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and design tends to always follow medicine. Therefore, the design will follow the technological advancement in this area. One thing is for sure, healthcare design will play to the human emotions in the future. We will see more experience-based designs with blurred lines, and crossover from high-end retail and hospitality design.

What’s wrong with healthcare design now?

The traditional approach to healthcare design is that design tends to come as an afterthought. This is true in the traditional design, bid, and build approach. Where healthcare design doesn’t truly happen during the design phase, but rather in the after-bid phase. At that point, design carries the purpose of material specification and attempting to bring in aesthetics after the budget is set, or it may even blow the budget. This doesn’t serve the client or the patient very well. The opportunity is lost to let design and function work hand in hand.

Apex Design Build

Apex is a well-respected design build firm based in Chicago which has earned a stellar reputation for providing state of the art healthcare facility design and construction over four generations. Apex delivers modern healthcare and veterinary hospital projects that reflect the unique style and personality of individual practice owners.

Apex Design Build can take your vision of the ideal healthcare facility and bring it to life. Let’s work together to get started on the exciting adventure of designing your healthcare office.

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