As healthcare evolves, organizations are broadening their approach to designing inpatient environments.

What goes into inpatient unit design? Certainly, operational factors like size, footprint and type of care matter. But hospitals are also responding to changing care models, patient expectations and the latest research as they design and build the most optimal inpatient environments.

Healthcare Design talked to several hospitals about their challenges in rethinking how they design inpatient units. As these hospitals considered the layout of workstations and the shift to multidisciplinary care, they had some specific design considerations, highlighted here:

  • Find a middle ground. Electronic charting had led to a push for decentralized nurses’ stations. But as medicine becomes more team-based, centralized centers and collaboration stations better fit this model.
  • Improve efficiencies with storage. Designers and facility managers are looking at different solutions for storing and distributing supplies, such as on-stage and off-stage layouts to help reduce noise and clutter in inpatient units.
  • Stay flexible with technology. With the mandate for electronic medical records, inpatient units need flexible designs that accommodate technology. For some, it’s wall-mounted stations; for others, portable workstations are a more flexible option.

As Healthcare Design notes, hospitals are finding that, as patient care and technology continue to evolve, flexibility is key to creating the most effective inpatient units. Learn more about how hospitals are reimagining inpatient environments.