As specialists in hospital refurbishment and build projects, Premis Solutions is always interested in important developments in the industry. One of the latest developments has been in the move towards “next generation hospitals”.
A next generation hospital is a hospital that is built, designed and fitted out with the “next generation” in mind. Not only does it cater to Australia’s current population demographics – it’s also built to cater to the clear future of a growing, increasingly diverse and ageing population. In this way, next generation hospitals can be considered to be “future-proof” hospitals. Designed to remain relevant for an extended period of their lifespan, they must be sustainable, smart and flexible. After all, future-proof buildings must still meet the needs of today, not just tomorrow. And exactly what “tomorrow” will look like is difficult to predict. This blog post explores a few features common to next generation hospital design and setup.
Next generation hospitals often emphasise natural lighting, indoor plants and outdoor green spaces accessible to mobile patients. This is good for patients and staff, as the healing and wellness benefits of natural settings and features is well-documented.
Designing your hospital with these features helps to future-proof it because natural elements in hospitals is a trend that isn’t going away.
Several studies have found that movement (rather than lying in bed all day) helps prevent physical injury and deterioration in older patients. A next generation hospital caters to this with features such as outdoor parks with flat pathways and railings for assisted mobility. It may also feature indoor spaces with plants and a similar setup. By catering to older patients’ wellbeing in particular, this is a clear way to future-proof hospital spaces.
Wayfinding aids are often found in next generation hospitals. This involves using words, colours and symbols to identify floors and/or rooms. It may also involves using language patients are familiar with such as “children’s ward”, not just “paediatrics”, on signage. Wayfinding aids help to future-proof hospitals because they cater to patients from diverse language backgrounds, their visitors, and ageing patients with failing vision.
Technology helps to improve efficiency and productivity, in turn promoting patient care. So it’s unsurprising that technology features in next generation hospitals. As technology trends tend to get smaller rather than bigger, incorporating enough space in your hospital design for existing technology should help to future-proof for new technology too. You can learn more about technology in hospitals here.
As specialists in hospital fitouts and refurbishments, Premis Solutions has helped complete a range of hospital projects.