The past few years have made everyone more aware and informed about their health and well-being. The foremost factor is the hospital and its efficient functioning, whilst the circumstances and time have added new dimensions and characteristics to the effluent criteria. Hospital design should be safe, intelligent, and efficient with being relevant to prevalent technology and public needs.
Colour, space, luminosity, and every aspect affect mood and perception, catering to focused and vast purpose space. The main aim of healthcare spaces has always been to improve lives, though it has changed and moulded to serve societal needs from time to time.
Architectural attributes like natural light, ventilation, natural scenes to contribute to a positive atmosphere for a patient’s experience have been essentials. In the late 19th century, went play disease was at its peak the hospital designs planned to be airier and well it was known that the disease is more capable of multiplying in dark and dingy spaces.
Later on, in the early 20th century, the hospital design began adopting Pavilion – ward design, popularized worldwide by Florence Nightingale. A hygienic, open, wide space with supporting areas was seen—one large room with patient beds, 6 feet apart to avoid any contact. The shift was observed in the layouts to the single patient room to minimize the spread of disease.
Hospitals have undergone a lot of changes both in terms of technology used and the hospital design itself. Drastic changes in quality material used for better hygiene with the present and comfortable environment. The importance of exterior landscaping around the building has also come out to be of equal importance, offering a safe and healing atmosphere for patients to visit sometimes. Healthcare designs in the last decade have been framed with hypothetical in mind to perform efficiently in case of an emergency outbreak.
Now, the addition of isolation wards/rooms or the ability to expand with emergency departments capacities to work in flux under unforeseen circumstances, such as Covid-19. The everlasting impact of coronavirus can be seen through the architectural moves in crafting or for patients as well as the healthcare providers—a culture of efficient and fewer contact facilities with barriers between the service providers and seekers.
Requirements like research spaces, change inbuilt form have been developed, usage of building materials like copper, etc., using horizontal volumes, flexibility to react to supine changes needs, or even separation of circulation to not mix personnel. As one might see, the pandemic has revealed the loopholes that existed in the traditional hospital designs. In the trial of design of hospitals, pandemic and technology has been revised and advanced with newer possibilities and scope in the healthcare industry.
The psychological needs of users are also now the parameters of designing. Foremost is the green concept where visual connectivity to greenery or nature or Proximity to the natural atmosphere, rendering freshness, reducing fatigue, and faster recoveries.
While the priorities/focus should also be to create a relaxing environment without losing functional focus, higher efficiency and functioning of hospitals can be achieved by revising the energy systems for greater operational reliability and reduced maintenance costs. Hospitals can also rely on renewable energy with optimal solar applications of wind energy for an integrated building design. The sustainability aspect will play a vital role in present or prospects for healthcare centres.
COVID-19 has made the masses draw attention towards health in response to rising per capita expenditure on health. This surge in demand has increased the manpower needs in the industry. Scope of hospitals is now just not restricted to healthcare services but also research and development meant of course/medicines to any novel disease. The human resource base has widened to provide the scope of a career as well as employment in the healthcare sector.
Advancements in the field have showcased dramatic changes from anaesthetics and antibiotics to magnetic resonance imaging scanners and radiotherapy. Technology has been a boon to India’s unique challenges with imparting accessibility, affordability, and quality. Growth in this aspect of the field has helped equalize the relationship between medical professionals and patients.
Further introduction of medical practices in response to the pandemic circumstances and virtual meets leading to substantial cost benefits with advancing healthcare methods are based on telecommunication technologies. With the invention of extra machines ranging to advanced surgical practices, VR/AR, 3-D printing, robotics, or nanotechnology, the accelerating pace will proceed in the future, curing illness and increasing life expectancy all together.