interiors special

toy store

Retail therapy

Spaces provide convenience and service for health consumers

hospital area with shiny floor

Dining options

Hospital cafeterias move beyond institutional designs

As health care organizations look for better ways to serve the needs of those who consume their services, some facilities are reshaping their retail and dining spaces along with their care delivery models. 

Common areas in some hospitals have an almost retail or spalike ambience, offering far more than the traditional gift shop experience. Elsewhere, hospital cafeterias are moving beyond institutional design in aesthetics as well as menus, with a decided emphasis on healthful eating and wellness. In this edition of Interiors, we explore these two areas of hospitals and showcase some of the modern, inviting designs reflecting these trends.

In our first report titled Retail Therapy, contributing editor Amy Eagle highlights rapidly evolving retail spaces within hospitals — from gift shops to pharmacies to niche boutiques and spas that cater to the needs of oncology patients. 

Carrying product lines that range from athletic wear and accessories to cookbooks with healthful recipes and durable medical equipment for the home, hospitals are meeting patients’ needs before they head home. And, as you’ll see from the impressive images in this report, these retail spaces are truly eye-catching.

In our Dining Options report, you’ll learn how hospitals are re-envisioning the once traditional and functional purpose of their cafeterias. You’ll also discover how some hospital restaurants are taking locally sourced food to a new level — growing their own herbs and vegetables to complement a menu focused on healthful options or developing meals with a plant-based focus.

Hospital dining areas sometimes are becoming a community focal point or gathering place, with designs that feature lots of natural light and access to outdoor patios.

These moves are having an impact not only on the public, but they are providing a great benefit to hospital staff members as well. And with hospitals continuing to focus on ways to respond to the needs of their employees and to accelerate retention rates, these moves are coming at an ideal time.

Bob Kehoe is senior editor of Health Facilities Management.