Finish standards without the panic | Part one

When healthcare organizations want to implement standards, there’s no need to worry.

Today, many healthcare organizations and institutions want to implement finish standards in their spaces. The sheer mention of standards can make some nervous, but it really shouldn’t. It’s time we had a better understanding of standards: what the term means, why standards might be implemented in a healthcare environment, dispelling the big myths about standards and finally, understanding what makes a strong standards package are all important first steps to set us on the right path for great healthcare design.

First, what do we mean when we say finish standards?

When we discuss standards we should really start by talking about vision. Understanding desired spatial and emotional outcomes, developing a story that is tied to experience, and exploring brand within the three-dimensional environment are integral to the success of standard interpretation. Standards should reflect an approach to defining best practices, best details and best finishes to enhance the quality of a design and maintain a predetermined level of excellence within a series of spaces.

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Five reasons healthcare organizations want to use standards.

  1. THEY WANT IMPROVED PATIENT SATISFACTION AND STAFF RETENTION
    Positive patient satisfaction is linked to increase in patient loyalty, and increase in referrals.  Additionally, Medicare reimbursements are linked to patient satisfaction surveys.
  1. THEY WANT TO ACCURATELY REPRESENT THEIR BRAND
    With an increase in healthcare partnerships as well as mergers and acquisitions within the healthcare and wellness community, we’re seeing facilities either change their brands or develop new hybrid brands to represent multiple institutions. In today’s healthcare environments, standards should connect to a consistency of brand experience.
  1. THEY WANT A TURN-KEY MAINTENANCE PLAN THAT REQUIRES LESS TIME AND MONEY
    Organizations want finishes that are easily and quickly maintained to reduce time and cost. They want to know quickly which manufacturer to reach out to when a surface needs to be fixed or replaced.
  1. THEY WANT A CONSISTENT EXPERIENCE FOR PATIENTS AND STAFF
    Organizations are ever expanding and rapidly changing. A consistent approach to finishing is considered a simple way to ensure that a campus and/or facility maintains a consistent quality, look and feel.
  1. THEY WANT A PLAN.
    Organizations work with many designers and projects over time. They want a plan that will communicate their expectations and goals, and to encourage consistency.

In part two, I’ll look at the myths about standards.

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