Reception and waiting areas in health facilities such as hospitals: functions and design indications for the organization of spaces. In the hospitals, healthcare facilities, receptions and waiting areas, in general perform particular function.
Let’s see with which building health criteria to design them.
The lobby is a highly representative space in a healthcare facility. It often serves as a point of contact between the hospital building and the user. It helps to sort the flow of people within healthcare facility premises. The pace houses a series of basic elements like refreshment points, toilets, commercial space etc. But above all of this, it also has a reception and information station.
In particular, the space dedicated to the reception must be identifiable and easily recognizable, it can, therefore, it should be designed by using particular lighting, or colours, materials, and shapes that will make it look distinctive.
From this location, it is important that the accesses to the main routes are easily identifiable, both to allow easier orientation for users and to allow staff to control.
The reception area is well placed in the immediate vicinity of the information desk. This space must be well integrated with the administration offices and also with the waiting areas. It is underlined that it is important to guarantee privacy to patients, who must, therefore, find separate and welcoming environments.
Through the connective spaces, paths, landings, waiting areas of the elevators, the patient and the visitor enter and move in the structure of the building. The connective, therefore, represents the spaces of directionality and sorting.
Certainly, it is necessary to give orientation and order requirements, but it is also essential to connote these areas in order to communicate domesticity and humanization of the spaces, to promote a good psychological impact.
In the healthcare deign and planning, it will, therefore, be necessary to ensure that the user can find information boards in these areas, seats also with low tables to encourage rest and benches, conversation, green elements and planters, openings to the outside, spaces and elements for communication, a series of furnishing elements and specific finishes suitable for the functions of the spaces.
The excessive uniformity and monotony of long hospital journeys can be mitigated by designing different elements that introduce variations and stimulate attention. All, of course, respecting the minimum passage dimensions.
In day hospital facilities, waiting areas are often derived from variations and extro-flexions along the connective pathways. In order not to obstruct the flow along the paths, these areas must be separated while maintaining visual contact with the space dedicated to the paths.
When designing parking areas- in the atrium, corridors, joints – and waiting areas – for example in reception areas and for clinics – it is recommended to maintain design unity throughout the hospital.