Why hospital aesthetics should be hospitable

There's certainly no debating the fact that the functionality of a newly constructed hospital is the principle concern. The goal, ultimately, is to be able to efficiently serve as many patients as possible by giving doctors, nurses and other staff members the space and tools they need.

At the same time though, this doesn't mean that architects and designers should be completely disregarding the appearance and aesthetic value of the hospitals they're designing. The influence of hospitality design is infiltrating other market areas. A recent Healthcare Design Magazine article, for instance, noted that the function of hospital lobbies, specifically, have changed significantly in recent years. Whereas they once served as a simple point of entry and place to gather initial information, lobbies now serve as a means of orienting visitors and even a waiting area for both visitors and patients.

"Lobbies have the power to charm, dazzle, and entice you," Michael Bedner, chairman and CEO of interior design consultant Hirsch Bedner Associates, told the publication. "Guests' impressions of what they are about to experience both start and end with the lobby. That's why lobby design — the visual images, the total sensory experience — is so important."

The balance between offering a caring, yet professional environment for hospital patients and visitors can be met in a number of ways from a design perspective. SCULPTCOR™, is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system created by  ASST, that is not only durable and stain-resistant, but can also provide a more upscale hotel-like hospitality environment.

One specific aspect of the hospital interiors that can make a major impression is lighting. Lighting is known to have a subtle, subconscious effect on individuals' moods, a particularly crucial concern for hospitals that want to offer as soothing, relaxing an atmosphere as possible. SCULPTCOR™ can also be done as LED backlighted custom ceiling elements as shown below in the ceiling completed for Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. Please contact us at 717-630-1251 x305 or www.asst.com for further information.

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