21 Aug Effect of Interior Design in Nephrology Healthcare spaces
Good healthcare is not a one-man show but a team effort, in which an interior designer also plays a significant role. All hospital interiors require an appealing, organic and a restorative environment that promotes life and boosts wellness among the patient community.
Nephrology healthcare spaces
Nephrology is the medical science related to the diagnosis and treatment of kidney-related diseases. Hospitals that provide healthcare services in nephrology or renal diseases comprise patients from a wide range of age groups. Nephrology healthcare spaces are home to doctors (nephrologists) specialized in renal medicine, specialist nurses, pharmacists, social workers and dietitians, each with a respective set of specialized responsibilities.
Healthcare staff who are working in renal technology spaces will also be responsible for the proper maintenance of the equipment used in renal dialysis. They will also be involved in the management and quality assurance of the specialist water treatment plants and distribution systems that are used in the dialysis equipment.
Hence, the staff in nephrology hospitals are required to work in a highly productive hospital environment so that the equipment is well-managed and tested on time, to ensure that patients are continually receiving a ‘state-of-the-art’ renal treatment.
Importance of Interior Design in Nephrology Healthcare Spaces
Research has reportedly revealed that poorly designed hospital interiors can negatively impact patients, and may result in health-related consequences such as anxiety, delirium, elevated blood pressure, and increased intake of pain drugs.
Several studies found that a ‘Supportive Design Approach’ in the hospital staff areas could result in increased employee productivity and efficiency as well as enhanced overall satisfaction, thereby ensuring that a positive hospital reputation reaches prospective patients and employees.
In order to achieve a supportive or a stress-free environment in a nephrology hospital setting, patients are supposed to be provided with access to social support and positive physical distractions that contribute to speedy recovery for the patient community.
Some of the most sought-after design approaches that have proven to promote wellness in a renal healthcare setting include:
- Healthcare spaces should facilitate self-regulation of privacy and social interaction for patients.
- Access to visual privacy in rooms and wards for resident patients in order to ensure that external visitors comprise only authorised family and friends.
- Controllable television and other audio/video units in patient rooms and waiting/reception areas.
- Easily identifiable signs for wayfinding within the hospital interiors.
- Accessible external gardens for patients and their peers, since long-term or at least short-term exposure to nature could result in significant improvement in treatment outcomes.
- Manually controllable room temperatures for dialysis patients who experience a rapid change in body temperatures.
- Design approaches that foster control, ensuring that patients do not feel stressful to due to a lack of control on lighting and temperature.
- Hospital settings should avoid the installation of air conditioning and lighting systems that are not manually controlled.
- Staff workstations are to be designed in such a way that they are located near to patient rooms and are not distracted by external visitors.
- Continuous access to medical staff and doctors during lengthy dialysis sessions to provide support to the patients.
- Installing positive distractions in physical environments such as not too bright lights and pleasing colors on the inner walls and other stress-reducing components that help cope with stress.
Considering that patients have very little control on the painful and sometimes long-term treatment procedures in a hospital setting, it is the responsibility of an aesthetically pleasing healthcare interior design to prevent their privacy from being invaded, and their social support – prevented; and stress levels – elevated.
Moreover, impact of healthcare interior design on the physical and psychological health of the patient community is found to be directly related to a significant amount of financial savings for the healthcare economy. In this regard, there is a great need for psychologically uplifting designs for healthcare interiors that help promote wellness.