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Post-Pandemic Healthcare Furniture Trends

August 31, 2020

As respiratory illnesses like the coronavirus and medication-resistant "superbugs" become more of a threat, and as America's Baby Boomer population grows older (requiring longer-term spaces for themselves and their families), the need for durable, sanitary, and comfortable interior solutions will be even greater in the 2020s.

Let's take a closer look at some of the ways that healthcare providers can tackle these and other issues through the furniture solutions they pursue.

Decreasing risk through savvy materials choices

Surfaces can be a vector for COVID-19 infection--meaning, they're a place where germs can be transmitted easily.

So, what sorts of materials should a responsible healthcare provider choose for their exam rooms and waiting areas? Well, bacteria and other illness-inducing germs can fester in the scratched surfaces of materials like wood and steel, so that pretty much renders them unfit for inclusion in medical settings.

What's more, they're often cold or hard to the touch--not exactly materials conducive to a warm, inviting, relaxing atmosphere.

The ideal furniture materials for the 2020s have the following characteristics:

  • Impermeable & scratch-resistant - no moisture, liquids, or other substances should be able to permeate the surface
  • Able to withstand industrial cleaners - this is especially important in the prevention of the spread of illness; waiting rooms, unsuprisingly, are hotbeds of germ activity--having the ability to cleanse the space on a regular basis without wearing out the furniture is essential
  • Rounded corners - to prevent injury, and to lessen the aesthetic harshness of the interior environment, making for more comfortable, stress-free interactions

These savvy material choices don't just make the interior environment more appealing--they diminish the financial risk that healthcare providers are likely to incur as a result of injury or illness on the premises.

Centering the needs of patients

It doesn't take an expert to know that hospitals and other healthcare environments haven't been the most welcoming for families and large groups, historically speaking.

And unfortunately, in the midst of a highly transmissible pandemic, that trend doesn't show any signs of dissipating. Particularly since social distancing and self isolation are among the most useful tools we have to deal with this virus.

Still, hospitals and other healthcare providers would do well to center the needs of their patients--to ensure that they have as comfortable and painless an experience as possible. Because when patients have a better experience, that positive result is reflected in better health outcomes.

Encourage those better health outcomes by making the following available for visitors:

  • Seating (and bedding) in patient rooms - pull-out sofas, comfortable recliners: the options are limitless
  • Accessible power outlets - smartphone technology is ubiquitous these days; make patients comfortable by offering plentiful options to charge to their devices
  • Colorful design choices - tasteful color choices can brighten up an atmosphere, and with it, a patient's mood; take care to select colors that can lift the otherwise somber mood of the healthcare environment

Ready to tackle the healthcare challenges of this new decade?

Get in touch with our interior solutions experts at our Augusta, Charleston, Columbia, or Savannah locations to learn more about your options. Whether you're interested in healthcare workspace and furniture solutions through Steelcase, or another of our furniture partners, our team is here to help.

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