Acute care facilities serve a variety of patients each day, so healthcare teams must be prepared to meet a wide range of needs.
For remodels and new construction, design elements create a supportive foundation for high-quality patient care. The goal is to enhance comfort in an inherently stressful space through intentional design choices.

Improving health outcomes through design
Whether patients are dealing with injury or illness, their health outcomes will improve when they are in a calm and comfortable environment. Evidence-based design principles can ensure the right conditions for healing with proven elements from natural light to smooth flooring to support the patient experience. Additionally, consider elements that will support wellness, including high air quality and barriers to prevent the spread of infections.
The patient experience begins in the waiting room, so attention to detail in this space is crucial. Ensure both individual and family-friendly seating options are available to provide flexibility for a variety of guests. To create a calm atmosphere, choose neutral colors and engaging artwork, and consider sound-absorbing materials and white noise machines to control noise.
While wayfinding is often a major consideration for pediatric hospital design, incorporating elements that help visitors find and remember their way around is important in standard acute care facilities, as well. Hospitals can be overwhelming for any patient to navigate, which is why elements like coded colors and prominent signage are necessary. Opt for symbols and images rather than words as navigation guides when possible because they are more effective for helping individuals recognize and recall information.
Consider how design elements can support associates
The design process offers the opportunity to set up a space that makes it easier for healthcare workers to effectively treat their patients. Certain elements can even enhance their ability to meet compliance standards. For example, integrating access control features into the design can offer permanent security strategies. At Medxcel, we have found intertwining our planning and design teams with our ongoing facilities maintenance teams helps to boost safety and compliance.
Additionally, designating areas for associates to relax and recharge will promote positive mental health practices within your facility. With more healthcare workers experiencing burnout, tying elements into the design that will support their ability to take breaks and care for themselves can make a substantial difference.
For support designing your acute care facility with patients’ and associates’ needs in mind while sticking to your budget, request a consultation.