As many people continue to return to the workplace in the aftermath of the pandemic, they raise a series of concerns. For healthcare professionals, these are not new questions. Caregivers never stopped going to the "office," with hospitals operating as critical workspaces.
Now, there are growing concerns over health and well-being in hospitals that have led to a rethink of interior design. At the same time, the rise of telehealth requires hospital interior designers to create more flexible spaces.
This article will explore the trends in caregiving that are influencing today’s hospital design. We’ll then cover the key elements healthcare interior design professionals are using to help create hospital spaces that take care of the caregivers.
Caregiving Trends to Consider When Designing Hospital Interiors
There have been a number of new trends in healthcare that have developed since the pandemic. These changes require a different approach to hospital interior design. Caregivers work hard over long hours and have become increasingly dissatisfied with their working environment. This dissatisfaction is compounded by other stresses on the healthcare system.
Here are a few examples of how healthcare settings are being challenged today:
- In the UK, the Royal College of Nursing is urging a pay rise of 5 percentage points above inflation to attract and retain staff;
- The NHS Staff Survey revealed that just 21% of nurse workers in 2021 felt their organisation had enough staff to perform their job properly;
- The percentage of nurses who would recommend their organisation as a place to work has declined from 67% in 2020 to 58% in 2021;
- Medical professionals in France, Spain, Romania, Cyrus, Slovakia, and Slovenia report unsatisfying quality of services provided by their hospitals;
- Job satisfaction for Italian medical professionals declines when the quality of their facilities deteriorates.
An important aspect of these trends to consider is that this continuing decline in satisfaction has occurred after the pandemic. The pandemic may have exposed some of the flaws in how hospitals take caregivers into consideration. But the ramifications are still being felt even as much of the industry returns to business as usual.