Healthcare Spaces

Trends in Healthcare Spaces

5 Ways Design is Transforming Behavioral Healthcare

Source: Kari Thorsen, BDC Network

"1. Transparency fosters de-stigmatization

Behavioral health centers have a shameful notion surrounding the act of being cared for. When it comes to perception, there must be a positive feel linked with it. Designs that change the location of waiting rooms to a more central area send a powerful message. It tells patients and visitors that there is no need for secrecy. A visible meeting space, in the middle or adjacent to important rooms, adds an inviting feel to centers.”

“2. Materials that evoke comfort

Swedish Medical Center, Ballard’s Behavioral Health Unit , in Seattle discovered that using engaging colors and textures in communal areas and even room, can give a soothing and positive feeling for patients. This contradicts the white sterile walls and linoleum hallways that normally find their way into health centers. Another key factor in creating an area that evoke a comfort is using colored tiles, wood, fabrics and even ceramic tile to help familiarize these area as more homey than clinical. Design such as this offer a sophisticated and warm feel.”

“3. Circadian Lighting regulates calming.

Circadian lighting, also known as LED lighting, has multiple functions within health centers. By creating an environment with circadian lighting, especially ones with little natural light, there is an automatic synchronization with patient’ natural sleep-wake rhythms. This provides an innate sense of calm as the day beings close. This type of lighting also regulates behavior.”

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Alisa Verratti