As consumerism becomes an increasingly important area of emphasis for today’s health care organizations, they look more and more to their physical structures to provide a sense of openness and brand awareness to patients and their families.

In this month’s HFM Design News, we take a look at this issue from a couple of different perspectives.

“As systems rebrand themselves as avatars of wellness, designs must respond to this goal in physical form,” says architect Mark Patterson of SmithGroupJJR in our first feature. “By using the designer’s palette of tools, such as form, lighting and color, and adopting strategies like template design solutions and retail models, health care organizations can have greater impact on the consumer psyche.”

By recounting the advantages of taking a consumer approach to facility design, and then reviewing the elements that make a successful brand statement, this American College of Healthcare Architects-contributed article gives readers a great grounding on the subject.

In our second feature, HFM contributor Amy Eagle speaks to a variety of industry experts to find out how branding specifically applies to the design of a hospital’s public spaces. As she finds out, furniture design, space planning, outlets to support consumer electronics and access to hand-hygiene devices can be combined to turn a hospital waiting area into a welcoming and attractive social setting.

Finally, we wrap up this edition of HFM Design News, by looking at how a couple of specific health care spaces are designed for unique patient populations: Our third feature explores trends in pediatric hospital designs and our fourth feature looks at interior design for behavioral spaces.

Bringing greater consumer attention to a health care organization means more than providing exceptional service or even exemplary care. It means bringing both of these things to patients in an impressive and appealing environment.