'Our vision is to be the choice of customers for healthcare interiors



AI Buvaneshwar, GM and Business Head, Godrej Interio, Godrej & Boyce shares his views with Express Healthcare on the changing face hospital interiors, creating a healing environment and Godrej Interio's offerings for the healthcare sector. What is the role of interiors in faster recovery of patients? How much importance is given to this element while designing a hospital? Human experiences are dynamic between environmental elements and individual perceptions. Interior designers have inherently and intuitively known this, and drawn inferences of the impact of designing decisions on the quality of human experiences. This principle at a broad level could be considered applicable to healthcare facility settings as a natural extension of the same principle at work in workspaces and homes. However, moving to the next level, there is today significant scientific evidence, demonstrating AI Buvaneshwar correlations between the environmental design of healthcare facilities and the impact of design decisions on patient outcomes. Additionally, the healthcare environment is not just a home for patients, but also a workspace for the caregivers, and part of an integrated healthcare organisation with specialised needs. In India, where the healthcare sector faces a demand-supply gap and the demand for quality healthcare is by far exceeding its availability, hospitals had been under pressure to maximise their coverage of the population, and depth of their facilities in treatment of different disease profiles. With funding for healthcare projects being limited, the planning of a hospital had historically been done with higher priority given to decisions directly impacting the treatment of patients, and „leftover‟ budgets allocated to interiors: these constraints may often in the past, have led to a superficial, ad-hoc approach towards hospital interior design. Even with the last two decades of corporatisation and privatisation of this sector, the pressure on operating profitably may have caused well-designed interiors to be viewed as „frills‟ in the overall scheme of a hospital project‟s construction and functioning. However, as the sector matures and evolves, it is encouraging to view that there is a growing understanding of the importance of interiors in hospital design, and accordingly the entry of specialised consultants to handle this critical aspect correctly. Hospital interiors are being increasingly viewed as they should be, not as an expense, but as an investment which pays off in terms of in improved patient outcomes, better occupational health for caregivers, and positive indicators for the entire healthcare organisation.

If we progress beyond a general understanding, to the next level of research, we will be able to apply these design principles, to translate research findings into physical healthcare environments which benefit patients, caregivers and hospitals alike. How can a hospital go about choosing the right interior design? The term „right‟ interior design is individual for every project as each project is different. In view of the hospital‟s profile and specialities, whether it is a greenfield project, a refurbishment or an expansion, the key guiding principles that need to be considered are the patient profile, the operational workflows, and as described above, the people, systems, environment and implementation. Determining which concept is the best fit for the project can be difficult. Testing each concept against the guiding principles provides a consistent evaluation method that determines to what extent the planning and design concept addresses the original project‟s goals. The guiding principles should be used continuously throughout the schematic design phase to test alignment between developing design solutions and the goal of the hospital. Additionally, in larger context of the overall project, the follwing factors also need to be considered. Complexity of implementation: The phasing requirements for the project; if there are any prescheduled projects that need to be completed first, and in case of an operational hospital, the potential impact to critical care and emergency power supply, whether departments need to be moved temporarily. Long-term flexibility: Does the concept allow potential for long-term space and service expansion, upgradability of technology equipment and systems, potential for reassigning the space with minimal architectural changes. Project costs: The estimated project construction costs, whether a set-off is possible between construction and operational costs. Operational costs: If the concept necessitates additional staffing or equipment resources, the maintenance requirements. Schedule timeline: whether the concept will be consistent with allowing the project to be completed in the desired time line. Essentially the right way is to define the goal of the hospital in terms of specific outcomes and performance parameters, identify the design elements which will link to these result areas through research, and implement the concepts consistently with the overall goal of the project. What are the latest trends in hospital interiors? We witness an increasing awareness in both the clients and the designers, in terms of their exposure to international trends, as well as the evolving needs of the Indian healthcare sector. Progressing beyond viewing hospital interiors as pleasant healing environments in abstract subjective terms, they are gradually adopting a more scientific approach, directing interior design decisions to specific patient outcomes. The focus on enhancing patient safety has grown stronger. The impact of the correct lighting, ergonomically designed patient furniture, and hygiene-enhancing finishes is gaining recognition. Crevice minimising designs are gaining acceptance. We are working on a project with Copper International to explore advantages of bacteriostatic finishes at touch-points in hospital environments.

General wards are slowly giving way to dual/single occupancy rooms, recognising the need for patient privacy and seclusion in helping the patient feel in control of their environment, as well as in reducing the risk of cross-infections. Ceiling pendants are the trend. These take equipment and storage off the floor, facilitating hygiene. Modular OTs are also gaining acceptance, with the higher standards of hygiene and flexibility they promise. Additionally, clinical workspaces in hospitals, like nurse stations and diagnostic laboratories are being ergonomically designed, with consideration being given to caregiver occupational health and impact of the workspace on caregiver performance. Green building is also a new trend wherein energy-efficient buildings made from the right balance of concepts and materials are sought to not just optimise energy costs but also to be environmentally responsible. What kind of interior help in creating a healing environment? The term “healing environment” is used broadly throughout the design field to describe a place that both physically and culturally supports health, healing, and wellbeing.
                A place to heal the mind, body, and soul. A place where respect and dignity are woven into everything A place where life, death, illness, and healing define the moments and the building supports these situations

Basic components of a healing environment are:
Air quality Thermal comfort Privacy Light and illumination Views of nature Visual serenity for those who are very ill Visual stimulation for those who are recuperating Access to nature Positive distraction Access to social support Options and choice (control) Elimination of environmental stressors such as nose, glare, and poor air quality

How important is it for hospitals to opt for evidence-based interior designs? Healthcare environments are the settings in which the systems, people and processes are activated, to deliver the healthcare treatment and service. In the short term, with immediate concerns being availability of quality healthcare to the masses, it may be tempting for hospitals

to ignore the healthcare environment and interior design as a whole, as also the role of evidencebased design (EBD). However, if healthcare facilities and their infrastructure is aimed to be sustainable into the long term future, the positive role of EBD based interior design cannot be ignored. With increasing number of hospitals and choices available to patients, hospitals will be compelled to offer higher standards of healthcare and evaluate their own performance in terms of patient satisfaction. Hospitals will also be required to match higher standards of accountability and responsibility, linked to specific patient outcomes. Additionally, with manpower costs on the rise, healthcare being a manpower intensive industry, hospitals will need to look at improving staff outcomes, inorder to attract and retain manpower. Lastly, with healthcare also being a technology intensive industry, the speed at which technology evolves will necessitate the right healthcare settings which are flexible to keep pace with technology. Overall, to make a healthcare facility sustainable into the future, EBD based interiors are an integral part of the planning process. Could you highlight Godrej Interio’s specialised product offerings for healthcare environments? Godrej‟s specialised offerings cover the entire range of hospital furniture from examination couches, ward beds, patient room furniture, ICU beds and accessories including mattresses. Ergonomic patient beds designed to offer maximum safety to users along with reduced effort levels for operation and maintenance. While the safety to the patient is assured through fulfillment of stringent FDA Safety Requirements the reduction in bed operating effort helps reduce fatigue levels of the staff helping them to be more productive and efficient at work place. In the long run it helps staff to remain healthy. Strikingly contemporary and aesthetically appealing healthcare beds from Godrej Interio with intelligent choice of material besides offering a soothing effect to the already agonised patient and stressed out staff and visitors, offer long lasting differentiated look to the hospital which break the monotony of hospital furniture which remained almost the same for many decades in India. The most critical requirements are safety, comfort, mobility, fail safe, is the single most important expected to support the patient be it while they are safely all the time during their stay in the hospital and integrate well with other Medical devices during clinical and therapeutic protocol. What are the challenges and special needs of hospitals in terms of hospital furniture? The current hospital furniture especially the bed plays a major role in determining the quality of treatment resulting in complete and quick patient recovery which are the most critical requirements of any hospital.

The hospital furniture has to satisfy the expectations of patients, doctors, attendants, maintenance staff and other stake holders which are at times very challenging covering aspects such as safety to patients, comfort, mobility and ability to withstand long duty cycles without failures. The furniture design must make cleaning easy for better infection control. The type of material used must be Bacteriostatic resistant and Environment supporting. Must help in therapeutic procedures by co-ordinating well with other medical equipment and devices used. How do you assist hospitals in planning and designing their interiors? What approach do you adopt? Godrej Interio has developed sufficient in-house expertise in designing interiors and execution of work places. Working with various partners and specialists, Godrej Interio is currently in a position to design hospital facilities factoring requirements of leading accreditation standards What specialised medical furniture is Godrej Interio offering today? Godrej in India as the exclusive distributor of Europe‟s leading brand LINET, brings high-end, technology embedded motorised ICU beds. These beds use patented column technology for attaining multi axis bed easily using hand controls. These beds due to their sleek construction design are easy to clean helping in infection control and are technology embedded motorised ICU beds which can be pre programmed to attain any posture needed at pre determined time and intervals. They can monitor the critical parameters of patients occupying the bed constantly and send alerts automatically to the medical attendant via Wi-Fi about patient‟s clinical emergency situation in advance. These beds allow medical attendants to be fully vigilant about the status of the patient even while operating from a remote location on more important. Many hospital are going the green way, could you emphasise how Godrej Interio assists hospitals in achieving this related to their interior design and planning? Godrej is a pioneer in Indian in bringing and developing Green Technology by working closely with USGBC, IGBC and CII. We have a dedicated in-house cell offering consultancy in LEED Certification for commercial facilities. Godrej is involved in design, implementation, assessment and validation of more than half of all the Buildings awarded LEED Certifications so far in India. How does Godrej Interio address the impact of furniture products on the environment and patient safety? What aspects do you consider related to design and manufacturing process? At Godrej Interio, green concept is given prime importance in all our business operations. Starting from product conceptualisation to manufacturing, design and disposal green requirements are complied with. We have taken initiatives in India to launch green guard rated furniture to enable commercial facilities comply with green certification requirements. Not only the products, even our manufacturing processes are green certification compliant and we are the

first in India to obtain Gold Level in BIFMA certification for our newly launched office furniture. We intend bringing all our furniture offerings under green guard certification in a phased manner. These green products control VOC emission levels which are a critical requirement in helping healthy indoor work environment. Choice of material in manufacturing, packing and distribution are environmental friendly thereby respecting sustainability requirements. Please share with us the vision that you hold for Godrej Interio to emerge as a specialist healthcare interior planning company? At Godrej Interio, our vision is to be the choice of customers for healthcare interiors which we wish to attain by transforming lives of our clients at work place and residence.