Medical fitouts differ from other types of fitouts. Additional factors need to be taken into account, including patient privacy, placement of specialist medical equipment, movement and flow of staff and patients, and restricted access areas within the practice. The brief should give your designer a clear understanding of where there is scope for flexibility with your requirements and where there isn’t – this will ensure that there is a reasonable balance between your wish-list and budgetary constraints.
List your practice priorities, determine essential and optional areas, and then tease out the following key elements:
Any medical fitout will hinge on a number of factors that cannot be changed (or cannot be easily changed), e.g. the size of the space and the location of any fixed structures like entranceways, doorways, windows, and posts or columns. Be sure to account for fixed/heavy medical equipment and lighting requirements (natural vs. specialised).
The ‘look and feel’ of the space is just as important as its functionality to promote the health and wellbeing of your patients and due consideration should be given to the different zones that staff and patients will move through. When considering the different zones within your practice, e.g. administration zones, sterilisation zones, and clinical zones, bear in mind such things as the privacy of your patients, hygiene, infection control, safety, and areas that should only be accessible to staff. Keep similarly zoned spaces together; centralise those utilities and interdependent zones to enhance work and traffic flow and the patients’ overall experience.
Design balance can affect people’s feelings of wellness and stability. Good design can promote harmony within a space. Creating this harmonious space will depend on the design colours, proportions and placement of furniture, and by maintaining a consistent and proportionate balance in the scale of the various zones and spaces.
Medical fitouts may present a range of unique challenges, and getting the perfect medical fitout will require careful planning. Appointing a design and fitout company that has extensive experience within the medical, dental and cosmetics sectors will ensure that you get a fitout that not only meets your brief but is also functional, safe and hygienic.