In a recent post on the Healthcare Design Magazine website, Mark VanderKlipp, President at Corbin Design, talked about his thoughts on wayfinding and designing healthcare environments for “the big picture”.
Mark points out that: “There are parts of a medical visit that patients know will be unpleasant. It’s incumbent on us (interior designers) to design experiences that make those visits as unexpectedly pleasant as possible.
Design is about understanding the state of mind of a typical healthcare visitor as they access services and removing barriers to comprehension… An enlightened focus on the needs of your patients, and your shared internal response to them, is fundamental to patient experience planning.”
As manufacturers of building products for healthcare facilities, we couldn’t agree more with his points of view. Patients, and visitors for that matter, often go to hospitals feeling anxious and worried, and their state of mind isn’t usually helped by the very clinical and impersonal design of many healthcare establishments. They are also left confused and disorientated by the inconsistent or difficult to follow wayfinding systems within the facility.
When a patient goes in for treatment they should feel at ease, and be calmed and soothed by their surroundings.
Interior design has a massive impact on patients, and as Mark points out in the same article, “…the patient experience is everyone’s responsibility, (but) it’s nobody’s specific job.”
Research has shown that sympathetic design and the use of imagery and artwork can positively influence patient recovery time, blood pressure, heart rate and even intake of pain medication. And it’s for this reason that art consultancies such as Willis Newson are working to provide more hospitable healthcare environments for patients, commissioning local artists to provide location specific artwork that really ties the healthcare facility to its surroundings.
Wayfinding can also have a great impact on a patient’s comfort and state of mind while in for treatment. Mark points out “…it’s the not knowing that causes stress(for patients)”. An anxious patient struggling to find the right ward for their latest check-up is not going to feel comfortable and calm.
Acrovyn by Design®
Our new Acrovyn by Design® product was created with these two elements in mind, giving healthcare designers the creative freedom to design healthcare facilities that are both functional and soothing for the patients.
Acrovyn by Design® is a durable, impact resistant Digital Wall Covering which can incorporate photography and artwork as well as wayfinding and signage, all in one complete solution. And because the base material is our world renowned Acrovyn® product, which has been used in healthcare facilities around the world for many years, it can do all of that whilst being easy to clean, impact resistant and simple to install.