Medical fit-out trends 2023
As another year begins, healthcare design company Evoke Projects looks at the latest medical fit-out trends for 2023. Give your medical practice a fresh face for the years ahead!
Flexible spaces within the medical fit-out
The more flexible the physical environment, the easier it is for medical practices to adapt to change and cope with physical distancing needs. Flexible spaces are becoming more popular in medical fit-outs, so that the waiting room, consultation rooms and treatment areas can be scaled according to need and patient flow.
There is also increased demand and focus on adaptable furniture and medical equipment, such as rotating patient headwalls, wheeled and reclinable chairs.
Distraction art and walls
The ubiquitous TV in the waiting room is no longer alone as a distraction strategy to calm anxious minds. Unusual art, stained glass, sculptures, clever design elements, murals and striking feature walls are the game changer here.
Connecting and designing with country
Connecting and designing with country through building design is a growing trend. It aims to engage with and be guided by the Aboriginal community to care for our land and improve community and connection. The NSW Government has some interesting papers around this topic.
There are two prongs to sustainable healthcare practices. There’s the planet saving type and the virtue signalling aspect. Virtue signalling is often presented as a bad thing, a public display of virtue to seek approval. However, saving the planet quietly is no longer enough. It is important to publicly demonstrate to staff and patients that your practice is serious about sustainability. Become an employer of choice and make people proud to be associated with your brand!
A modern medical fit-out presents a great opportunity to do even greater things. Embrace natural materials, PEFC/FSC certified wood, low carbon building materials, recycled metals and natural ventilation opportunities. Review the air-conditioning temperatures to see if +/- a few degrees can save energy and money.
Telehealth continues to play a vital role in healthcare. In 2023, we will see more dedicated telehealth facilities and sophisticated software systems. Telehealth is expanding access to physicians in different locations, decreasing waiting times and reducing pressure on patient flow within practices.
Multi-sensory biophilic design
Introducing natural elements to the medical fit-out so that people are closer to nature is not a trend; it is a mainstream medical design strategy. However, multi-sensory biophilic design that improves the holistic physical environment is the latest biophilic design trend for 2023:
- Visual elements (e.g., art, light, colour and plants)
- Auditory elements (e.g., the sound of waves)
- Tactile elements (e.g., natural timber furniture, room temperature)
- Olfactory elements (e.g., the smell of flowers)
Keeping COVID covered
COVID-19 and its irritating offspring continue to cause health and staffing challenges. The good news is that after three years of battle, most healthcare practices have COVID-safe measures covered. In 2023, the trend will focus on reviewing and consolidating existing measures around masks, sanitisation, physical distancing, safety screens, air purifiers, wayfinding to assist patient flow, health screening and isolation rooms.
If your acrylic screen dividers are looking tired, find some handy cleaning tips here. https://www.hunker.com/13421655/how-to-get-plexiglas-clear-again
2023 might be your year for a new medical fit-out, giving the opportunity for low-maintenance furniture and fixture changes. Durable, hygienic fabrics help with proper sanitisation, look good and mean you can clean thoroughly without worrying about damage, e.g., bleach cleanable Sunbrella Contract.1 For reception counters and tables, curves are easier to clean than angles and are more pleasing to the eye, so use curves in your medical design and furniture choices. Hardwood flooring looks smart, homely and is easy to keep clean.
Paint colour – to balance, connect and revive
Dulux colour forecasts are always an interesting trend predictor. For 2023, Dulux has “three emotive palettes inspired by our need to reconnect with nature, desire for balance and calm, as well as reviving our spirits with joy and play”.
- “Balance” features delicate pastels, oceanic hues such as soft greens, and deep moody teals and blues, punctuated with accents of deep garnet and near-black.
- “Connect” features soft earthy neutrals, naturals, muted greens, and wheat yellows, combined with accents of warm deep brown, grey and charcoal.
- “Revive” colour palette is creative and joyful, featuring soft blue and lilac used alongside vibrant emerald green, warm yellow and accents of playful pink and purple.
Mental health and rehabilitation service growth
In 2020–21, more than 3.4 million Australians sought help relating to their mental health. This demand looks set to increase further. Rehabilitation services (e.g., physiotherapy, occupational therapy, behavioural and addiction counselling) are also growing in need. The medical design trends for these services will increasingly be welcoming and comforting, emulating residential or hospitality settings rather than traditional medical fit-outs. Examples include:
- Phone charging facilities
- Hardwood flooring
- Childcare facilities to provide better accessibility to parents
- Soft lighting
- Well-selected music
- Lounge furniture
- Themed medical design e.g., nature, beach, woodland
Please contact Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692 for more information on medical fit-outs and healthcare design trends for 2023.