When a healthcare facility toys with its interior design, it has far greater implications than simply moving a sofa around a living room. Depending on how well administrators are able to optimize their space, they can better direct the assets they have toward efficiency and expand on-site capabilities for patients and healthcare providers alike. How can small renovations to a healthcare facility's layout drastically alter and improve its operational performance?

"Sacrificing long-term hospital space can have adverse effects."

Smarter use of resources
Differentiating between long-term and short-term care in a clinic or hospital ensures these locations have the proper accommodations for any medical emergency. However, sacrificing long-term hospital space as overflow for outpatient procedures or vice versa can have adverse effects on how doctors and nurses are able to treat patients. This disorganization demonstrates a healthcare facility hasn't studied its own needs within the community closely.

That's why according to a Health Facilities Management study, more than one-third of all repurposing projects in healthcare facilities go toward expanding the site's outpatient capabilities. Providers understand sufficient space allows them to treat not just chronic illnesses and injuries, but walk-ins and low-stakes checkups. But that's not all – after that, more than 30 percent of responding medical experts said administrative space took priority. Addressing these two areas in tandem not only guarantees better patient reception, but also calibrates the behind-the-scenes clerical work necessary to a high-functioning healthcare facility.

"Large hospitals alone account for more than 5 percent of the entire commercial sector's energy use."

Greener means better
It probably comes as no surprise hospitals consume an incredible amount of energy – large hospitals alone account for more than 5 percent of the entire commercial sector's energy use, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. With many energy-intensive machines throughout the building and 24-hour operation, healthcare facilities can rack up high energy costs pretty easily.

But by reimagining common and reception areas, administrators can upgrade their site's efficiency. For instance, large bay windows without furniture in front can allow natural light to replace lighting resources during the day. If planned effectively, these windows could even supplement heating costs during colder months with solar radiation. Renovations in a healthcare facility are far greater than fickle fashion sense – they can improve the welfare of the patients and the quality of clinician service.

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