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The Prescription for Creating Safe Healthcare Spaces

McCoy Rockford

Patients and their families have always valued safe healthcare spaces. Environments where they feel secure, listened to and provided the best care possible. Now with an added layer of concern — COVID ­— healthcare facilities have a greater responsibility to protect individuals seeking care or supporting a loved one.

Worth the Wait
Waiting rooms are often a source of concern for patients, but with proper social distancing and enhanced cleaning, these spaces can put an individual at ease. Stance Healthcare believes post-COVID waiting rooms should include:

  • Furniture arranged for privacy and social distancing. Outfit the space with individual chairs rather than three-seat options and increase space between people with tables. Install mobile partitions for barriers between back-to-back seats.
  • Furniture that reduces contact and is easier to clean. Opt for armless chairs to minimize contact. Choose seating with metal frames and polyurethane arm caps as well as healthcare-grade fabrics and solid surfaces to inhibit viruses and increase cleanability.


Nothing Routine About It

While non-COVID-related services were almost completely halted during the height of the pandemic, patients are coming back to healthcare facilities for routine visits and ongoing treatment. There are various design considerations for these spaces that will support healthier and safer environments. Carolina, an OFS Company, noted the following:

  • Panels and acrylic screens create additional barriers for safety
  • Mobile and movable products that can be deployed when needed
  • Use of non-porous solid surface or laminate to withstand stringent disinfecting protocols
  • Sanitation stations placed in visible and easily accessible areas
  • Seating that can be wiped down and cleaned between uses

Click here for OFS resources.

Don’t Forget the Healthcare Heroes
During a pandemic or not, our country’s healthcare heroes are always on the frontlines of patient care. Their wellbeing is equally paramount to patients’ health and safety. While healthcare workers have always had physical, emotional and mental health needs, COVID has put a spotlight on these exacerbated burdens. Steelcase explains the right work practices make all the difference.

  • “On-the-job respite” is vital and demonstrates respect
  • Create an inviting, accessible space that meets ranging needs
  • Create a flexible breakroom spaces for spontaneous collaboration or personal quiet time
  • Outfit with easy-to-move furniture to accommodate all staff
  • Don’t forget about cleaning protocols in staff respite areas

Get all the tips from Steelcase to compete in the post-COVID era here.