The concept of ‘biophilic design’ centres around the use of nature-based principles within architectural design. It stems from the idea that nature, even in the modern world is critical to people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Whilst this concept is not new, there has been a shift in the desire to incorporate aesthetically pleasing designs into hospital and medical spaces. The reasons behind this include:
- Practice and medical staff are spending more time at work.
- An increasing difficulty in retaining and recruiting staff, and
- To improve the patient experience.
Consider staff wellbeing in practice design
There is no question that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the healthcare system. Healthcare professionals have been pushed to the limit with demand for services at an all-time high. Unfortunately, the shortage of available doctors and nursing staff across Australia, is hampering recruitment efforts.
As such, practices owners are doing all within their means to attract and support their staff, so they in turn, can continue to deliver a high level of patient care. Creating a practice where staff want to work is the goal and where the design, its facilities and its level of comfort are of utmost importance.
A pleasant work environment helps to reduce stress, staff absenteeism, and improves personal wellbeing. A number of design considerations can include:
- A practice design that optimises traffic flow.
- Natural lighting to promote a positive mood and to combat fatigue.
- Live plants and greenery to lower stress, anxiety and improve productivity.
- Use of natural timbers that helps people feel connected to the outside world.
- Dedicated breakaway space for staff to disconnect.
Doctors, nurses, and their support staff spend over 35% of their time at work, so it makes sense to incorporate their feedback into the design and styling of their working environment.
The benefit of a warm and inviting space for patients
For many patients, visiting a doctor, dentist or specialist is extremely stressful and begins at the point of booking their appointment. Practice owners can help reduce patient anxiety by ensuring they provide a warm, calm, and inviting environment.
The process begins with the patient:
- Being greeted by a friendly receptionist.
- Seated in a comfortable waiting room.
- Offered privacy if they need it.
- Given access to complementary services onsite.
Furthermore, a pleasant patient experience overall is more likely to help them overcome their barriers and keep them coming back.
What our clients say
Eagleheart designs and constructs medical spaces with biophilic design principles in mind. When speaking to our clients, they tell us of the profound effect their clinics have had on the wellbeing of themselves, their staff, and their patients.
Patient feedback from our general practice project at Greens Medical Group was:
“Greens has lovely doctors in an even lovelier space. The atmosphere inspires a real sense of calm and tranquility which is truly understated in most practices. The accessible seating, natural woods and greenery aesthetics really make a doctor’s visit a pleasant experience.”
To find out more about the project, you can read the case study on our website.