What are the essential elements of a medical facility?

A Quick Guide to The Essential Elements of An Australian Medical Facility

No matter if it’s a vet clinic, a dental practice, a doctor’s surgery, or a hospital – there are a range of essential elements that need to be accounted for in any design and build process. In this blog we outline what these essential elements are, and how they can be designed to perfectly complement any practice. We spoke to Mark Bowden-Smith Total Fitouts Christchurch, for his take on what’s essential for an Australian medical facility in 2021.

The Key Elements That Make up a Medical Facility

No matter the services a specific facility offers, there are a number of components that need to be present in each one. These include:

● Waiting room

● Treatment room

● Secure storage

● Sanitary facilities

● Toilets

● Staff areas

Each one of these should be designed with each individual facility’s unique requirements in mind. There is no one size fits all, nor should there be.

Good planning and good design makes a world of difference

Australian medical facilities have come a long way in the last 20 years. Mark says that when it comes to designing and fitting medical facilities, there are especially three components that are considered more essential than ever before:

A warm and welcoming interior

Hygiene-based design and material usage

Careful layout and spacing planning.

Interior design – designing for comfort

Medical facilities are for many of us scary places associated with sickness and worry – which is why taking care to design a space that makes patients and their loved ones feel more at ease is key. In fact, an attractive interior is considered key inpatient acquisition and retention these days.

It doesn’t have to be so clinical anymore,” Mark says. “They’re having a little bit more fun with the space. There’s a lot of fittings and finishings you can do to try and make it more comfortable. So it’s not just, you know, white walls, white floor. You can, for example include timber tones everywhere, or even feature colours, which can make it a bit more natural and relaxing.”

He says that while patients’ comfort is certainly a key reason for making spaces inviting, feedback from clients he has worked with has proven it’s not the only benefit. “Not only does the space look nice and operate better, but we’ve been told it’s actually done wonders for the morale of the staff as well.”

Medical facility layout design – making space for social distancing

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has put new demands on the design and build of medical facilities.

“Making sure that you’ve got the correct sort of layout and spacing is important these days. You really want to avoid bottlenecks,” Mark says. “People are a lot more focused on the social distancing aspect of things.”

He says it’s become essential to plan social distancing into any new build. “In waiting rooms for instance, they want to make sure that they have enough space between the reception desk and the waiting chairs. “If you’re obstructing the entrance, that’s not ideal, because you’re breaching COVID-19 regulations.”

Hygiene-based design

Demands for hygiene and infection control in New Zealand medical facilities have increased through the years, and as a result have changed some of the materials commonly used. While carpet flooring was a common sight in waiting rooms across New Zealand previously, vinyl and marble and other easy-clean materials have become the new industry standard.

Chat to us about your upcoming project

No matter where you are based in New Zealand Total Fitouts can design and build your bespoke medical facility. Based on the newest industry regulations and using cutting-edge materials, we can help you build a medical facility of the future, today. No matter where you are in the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our teams across New Zealand and the world.