What is "human-centred design" and why is it so important in medical practice design?

What is “human-centred design” and why is it so important in medical practice design?
August 19, 2019 Dentifit

If you’ve seen any of our recent medical and dental practice fitouts, you’ve probably noticed that the days of practices with a sterile “clinic” feeling are long gone. Modern medical practice designs are increasingly becoming more about patient-experience and ‘human-centred design’.

Dentifit has drawn on our extensive construction and interior design experience to design and transform medical practices for nearly fifteen years. We’ve seen firsthand the benefits that human-centred design can bring to the healthcare industry. Here’s why it’s so important to take into consideration for your medical practice design.

What is HCD?

human centred design

If you’re not familiar with design principles, you’re probably wondering what HCD is. HCD is a design approach developed from processes that encompass an understanding of whom the design is created for. What does this mean? Well, to put it plainly: know your target market and then design for them to make their experience better. To get a deeper understanding of our clients and their needs, we usually ask the following questions so that we can help them realise their vision for their practice design:

  • Who is your client? Does the practice design reflect the demographic?
  • What does the client want to get out of visiting your medical centre?
  • What has been the general client experience at your medical centre to date?
  • What do you want to gain from implementing HCD in your medical space?
  • Why do your clients use your medical space?

By ensuring these bases are covered, we can help you make your patients’ service experience all that more valuable.

Why does HCD matter?

As we can see from the above questions, HCD gives us (designers and builders) an idea of how the medical practices’ patients interact with the space they use. It might go without saying, but the patients are the revenue source of any practice or clinic, and without them, the establishment is superfluous. HCD allows the space to cater to the client’s needs while the staff and employees also feel the new space works well for them.

What are some examples of HCD in action?

human centred design, medical centre design

There are a number of ways to implement HCD in your practice design that will have a huge impact on the overall patient service experience, without completely breaking the bank. Something as simple as installing wheelchair ramps and automatic sliding doors instead of traditional push and pull doors will do wonders for accommodating patients with mobility issues. Furnishing your reception waiting room with ergonomic chairs with height and armrest adjustment capabilities will instantly create a more comfortable waiting experience for all patients. And don’t forget the small but vital additions to optimise patient and staff safety, such as non-slip flooring and stair nosing. Public safety and access solutions are one of the key services Dentifit offers as part of all of our practice fitouts and refurbishments.

Dentifit has seen various design trends come and go, but we know what works consistently from years of experience redesigning and refurbishing medical, dental and veterinary practices. If you want to talk about how to put your patients at the centre of your practice design, get in touch with us on 07 3881 2215 or via our online contact form located here.