Before designing and building anything, it is crucial to carry out research which enables the project to go as smoothly as possible.
This is especially important in healthcare design where there is always the need to create better environments for patients and medical staff.
The following is how research can be integrated into healthcare design:
1) Focus on the key performance goals of the company: The company’s goals must be clearly set out so everybody is on the same page and so the design and construction of the practice goes smoothly.
2) Gather knowledge, understand users, test prototypes: Use mock-ups storyboards, experience mapping and simulations to test different concepts.
During this step, it’s essential to approach the project with empathy – putting yourself in the patient’s shoes, all while testing different technology processes and materials to see what works best.
3) Link design solutions to performance hypothesis: Once different key concepts have been tested, brainstorm design solutions and map each one with the intended outcome.
Every decision is a performance hypothesis (having artwork will reduce stress).
4) Ensure design is implemented as planned, aiming for targeted performance goals:
When the design is completed, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the project through the documentation and construction phases.
5) Test the hypothesis: When the healthcare environment has been completed, it’s time to test the hypothesis to see if the design has been successful. Ask the question: “To what extent did the project succeed/fail/meet goals and why?”
In healthcare design, multiple factors have to come together (operational processes and organisational culture) to improve outcomes. Research plays a hugely important role in this regard.