The Importance Of Interior Design In Medical Practices

Mar 31 2016

Darren Best

Studies have revealed that boosting your medical practice’s value may improve patient health, staff morale and efficiency. With news headlines reporting on the crash of morale in the medical world, it is vital that the situation is addressed to ensure the best outcome for both practitioners and patients, starting with the importance of interior design in medical practices.

Patient happiness is paramount. In the film, Patch Adams, starring the late Robin Williams, it highlighted how important laughter can be alongside traditional medicine. The film was based on the real-life story of Patch Adams who set up the Gesundheit Institute. The practice believed that “the health of the care-giver is as important as the health of the care-receiver. The misery index among physicians and health care providers is at an all-time high. The healthcare system is making its frontline workers sick. Bi-directional care arises in a true caring relationship where all become givers and receivers of care.”

What is the importance of interior design in boosting morale in medical practices?

  • Décor

Medical practices are beginning to transform from the once dull and sterile décor in favour of light and bright colour schemes which showcases architecture and artistic design, in order to stimulate patient’s recovery and reduce boredom.

New and innovative designs are seeing more spacious layouts of practices which feature creative areas in which children can play. The additional space has aided in the reduction of noise, complaints and the cross-infection of patient illnesses. The reported level of trust and ratings of GP practices showed a direct correlation between trust and confidence in the GP and the practice with the design of the building, showing just how important interior design is.

Medical Practice Interior - Childrens Play-area Photo credit: Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock

As stated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, patient satisfaction is an important and commonly used indicator for measuring the quality in health care. Patient satisfaction affects clinical outcomes, patient retention, and medical malpractice claims.

Similar trends were recorded by medical practices, such as hospitals, who noticed that once importance of interior design was taken more seriously on wards, it had a direct impact on patient morale. Those who felt relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings were less likely to discharge themselves.

Owing to this, artists volunteered to help with the decoration of children’s’ wards. One of the artists commented on the importance of aesthetic design in medical practices on

“One of the most important things for me was to make the hospital not feel like a hospital. I wanted the patients, parents and nurses all to feel relaxed, happy and stimulated by the environment that surrounds them and by using design you can lift the mood and well-being of the people there.”

Medical Practice Interior - Childrens Ward Photo credit: Sopotnicki / Shutterstock  

“I’ve enjoyed seeing and hearing the reactions of not just the children but the parents too who are so pleased that the ward feels happier, colourful and less sterile and intimidating. This makes it so worthwhile and hugely rewarding for me as a designer.”

Children in particular can be scared of alien environments such as doctor’s surgeries, hospitals and the dentist. By placing an emphasis on interior design and making the environment relaxing and more ‘homely’, patients are likely to make a speedy recovery.

  • Plants

According to Texas A&M University, ‘Shrubs, trees, and flowers have a practical application in medical practices: the presence of plants greatly reduces the time necessary to heal.’

How does interior design influence the sale of your medical practice?

 Photo credit: ImageFlow / Shutterstock

Whether you are thinking of moving location, up-sizing or down-sizing your property, it is important to consider that your practice is still a property that holds value. In keeping your property well-maintained, your practice may increase in value, allowing you valuable funds that can be better used in your new location. For reasons such as these, you should attempt to keep a good kerb appeal. This applies both to the interior and exterior of the property.

As noted on, just as you would put a fresh coat of paint on your walls before selling your home, do the same at your practice to spruce things up prior to a possible sale.

Although employees and patients appreciate that interior design has been seen as important, there has been little in the way of research as to how important this facet is in terms of recovery time and medical practice value. By incorporating more modern designs for areas such as the waiting room in GP surgeries, the cross-infection of patients will be reduced, therefore putting less of a strain on resources, finances and time. The optimisation of patient happiness, speeding up recovery will likely result in similar benefits.

Feature image credit:



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