Healthcare Design Trends for 2022
As the new year gets under way, healthcare fit-out company Evoke Projects looks at the most interesting design trends for 2022.
Global learnings for healthcare design
Australia was fortunate during the pandemic to be able to learn from our international friends. Having low COVID-19 case numbers meant we could look at what worked and did not work overseas. The international co-ordination on medicine and vaccine research has brought the international medical community closer together. We expect this to continue in 2022 as Australian healthcare practices look at global success stories to emulate in local medical practice design and fit-outs.
Wellness practices reinvented
With so much focus on COVID over the last two years, the wellness industry has taken a beating. Government restrictions, density limits and COVID-safe operations have stifled what should be a relaxing and positive approach to improving health. Appointments for physio, chiro, dental checks and podiatry have often been postponed unless there is pain to be treated.
Hello 2022, wellness is back!
People have become more aware of their health and fitness during the pandemic. There is more interest in taking positive steps to improve health. Wellness healthcare practices will benefit from this, but it will be a competitive marketplace. 2022 is the year to stand out from the crowd with a fresh, clean healthcare fit-out that makes people feel safe and inspired.
Better healthcare design to combat staff shortages
Sadly, the pandemic has exacerbated healthcare staffing issues. We have seen the ‘normal’ shortage of skilled staff compounded by swathes of workers falling sick with COVID or having to isolate. Competition for skilled healthcare staff is expected to put pressure on the public and private system during 2022.
The best healthcare workers will have their pick of employers, choosing an environment in which they enjoy working. Workforce solutions provider Allocate Software tells us that workplace culture (97%) and work-life balance (94%) are the top two priorities when Australia’s younger healthcare professionals choose a place to work.1 The physical environment and healthcare design affect both culture and work-life balance.
Healthcare design and fit-outs that conform to WELL Building StandardTM guidelines can help attract new staff and retain existing employees. The WELL Standard is based around ten concepts: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. Please visit their website for more information or talk to the healthcare design team at Evoke Projects.
Aesthetics are also important. Clean and sterile does not have to mean bland and clinical. Colour, style and technology all have a role to play in creating a welcoming and modern healthcare fit-out.
More technology but not as we know it
We have already seen so much advancement in medical technology that it is difficult to predict exactly what 2022 will bring. The one certainty is that technology will continue to make healthcare more accessible and more efficient. The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, wearables and virtual healthcare will be behind many advances in 2022.
Biophilic healthcare design
Nature is soothing and nurturing, which is at the very heart of healthcare. Biophilic healthcare design is not new, but it is gaining momentum. If you are looking to advertise your care for the environment, why not bring nature into your practice? It is both healthy and wins hearts and minds. One study showed that biophilic elements in medical and healthcare practice design resulted in post-operative rates of recovery reducing by 8.5%, while pain medication was reduced by 22%.2
Large windows, pot plants and artwork that evokes nature are potential biophilic elements for healthcare practices. Solar energy, smart lighting and noise cancelling initiatives are worthwhile considerations for 2022.
Sustainable and natural materials are in the spotlight this year, giving every business an opportunity to make a difference. Bamboo and copper are good for both hygiene and the environment. Let employees know about the materials being used in the healthcare fit-out and the positive impact on the environment. Tell the story about your efforts and make everybody proud.
2021 healthcare design trends to continue into 2022
The best trends are those that prove so successful, they stick around. Aspects of healthcare design that we expect to continue into 2022 are:
- Healthcare fit-outs based on lean principles that improve patient flow and minimise waste.
- Adaptable and flexible healthcare design that can respond quickly to new situations.
- Physical distancing and wayfinding signs to help people stay safe.
- HVAC / air filtration systems will continue to be improved during new healthcare fit-outs.
For more information on healthcare design, refurbishments and fit-outs, please call Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692.