Laboratories are one of the most important areas in a hospital. They offer crucial testing that helps doctors and nurses diagnose, treat, and monitor their patients. Laboratories need to be designed with this purpose in mind, which is why it’s so important for designers to know what trends are happening right now. We gathered information from some of the top names in laboratory design and found five trends that you should consider when designing your next lab!
1. Collaboration Oriented Design
Laboratories are working to be more collaborative than ever. The most important people in this process are the doctors themselves. They need a space that facilitates collaboration between them and their staff, so they aren’t stuck alone in their offices behind closed doors. While some hospitals may prefer private labs because of security reasons, it’s helpful to have an open layout to improve communication and efficiency.
2. Space Saving and High-Efficiency Design
In the past, laboratories have been designed with more space than necessary to allow plenty of elbow room for the staff. Now, because of new technology and innovations occurring within labs, there is less emphasis on how much space the equipment takes up and more focus on having a smaller footprint. As equipment gets smaller, the lab space can be reduced accordingly. This is very important because labs are usually one of the most expensive rooms in a hospital to build, so minimizing their size helps keep costs low and allows for more money to go towards other areas that require updates.
3. Big Data Analytics and Visualization Design
Visualization is important for analyzing anything, which is why it’s a big trend in laboratories. It allows doctors to understand data that would otherwise be difficult to grasp easily. For example, body mass index (BMI) is one of the most commonly calculated metrics in labs everywhere. With visualization software, BMI spreadsheets can be created that show those who need to work harder at losing weight in a way that would be hard to comprehend otherwise. You can click here for more information about BMI visualization software.
4. Increased Sustainability Design
Hospitals are working harder than ever to become more sustainable. Because of this, new trends are emerging in laboratory designs. The most important trend is the incorporation of green technology. Features like LED lighting and motion sensors that only turn on the lights when someone enters the room help cut down on energy costs, saving hospitals money in their operational budgets. Other sustainable features include smart water and energy management controls.
5. Open Access and Flexibility Design
Open access laboratory design is one of the most important trends in hospital labs right now. The reason for this is because a lot of tests, such as blood cultures, require that technicians and doctors walk into the lab space to bring samples back and forth. This means that the room needs to be open to minimize disruption. However, doctors and patients can’t just walk in wherever they want – there needs to be some check-in desk or room where visitors sign in so that the security team knows who’s coming and going.
Laboratory design is a balancing act of efficiency and space management. When designing your next lab, consider these six trends and the specific purpose of your lab (testing new drugs? performing genetic testing?) so that you can create a streamlined, efficient, and effective working environment for everyone involved.