Targeted Care, Focused Design: The Emergence of Single-Specialty Hospitals

The single-specialty healthcare market in India, constituting about 15% of the overall healthcare sector, is showing remarkable growth. It is projected to grow at over 12% CAGR, potentially reaching around USD 37.3 billion by 2026. Initially dominated by eye and dental care, this segment now includes growing fields like fertility, dialysis, and oncology. Attracting over USD 2 billion in private capital funding in the past 12 years, the sector is appealing for its asset-light and investment-friendly nature.

With this evolving landscape, understanding the implications for healthcare design becomes crucial. As single-speciality centres grow, their design needs become more specific, calling for tailored solutions in healthcare architecture and planning to cater to their unique requirements and patient demographics.

Rising Popularity of Single-Specialty Care Centres

By concentrating on one medical field, single-speciality hospitals offer a more stable and clear design brief than multi-speciality hospitals. Their services are rooted in specific operational premises, leading to more efficient planning and design. This makes them an increasingly preferred choice in the healthcare landscape. Let’s take a deeper look at their advantages.

1. Medical Planning Efficiency

In single-speciality hospitals, understanding functional relationships and requirements is more straightforward. This clarity aids medical planners and architects in streamlining workflows, optimising space utilisation, and reducing redundancies, unlike the complex trade-offs often encountered in multi-speciality hospitals.

2. Enhanced Patient Experience

Single-speciality hospitals cater to a more homogeneous patient group, enabling a more personalised and practical approach to patient experience. For example, an Ophthalmology centre might integrate braille into its design, while an Orthopedics facility could provide specialised walking aids, tailoring the environment to specific patient needs.

3. Branding and Identity

Single speciality hospitals, often part of a network, offer unique branding opportunities. The integration of interiors and branding can be more cohesive, enhancing the hospital’s identity and patient perception.

4. Efficient Execution and Cost Management

The smaller scale of single-speciality hospitals typically results in shorter construction timeframes and controlled budgets. The clarity from the project’s inception leads to fewer design and construction changes, streamlining the execution process.

5. Operational and Capital Efficiency

These hospitals can often be established in existing buildings, reducing the need for new, large-scale construction. This adaptability, combined with efficiency in design and operation, translates into significant capital cost savings and potentially higher returns on capital expenditure.

Over the last few years, healthcare organisations have demonstrated a tendency to protect and refurbish their existing structures or utilise redundant facilities instead of constructing completely new spaces. Our blog article “Repurpose And Resuscitate!” highlights the reasons behind this growing trend!

Designing Single Speciality Centres 

With its clear advantages, let’s learn more about how healthcare designers evaluate and build these spaces.

1. Understanding the Specialization

Specialisation in healthcare design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating spaces that cater to the specific needs of different medical practices. For instance, an ophthalmology clinic requires precise lighting conditions for examinations, while a fertility clinic needs a serene environment to ease patient stress.

We should approach each speciality with a keen understanding of its unique requirements, ensuring that every design element, from room layout to lighting, is tailored to enhance patient care and staff efficiency

Kshititi Nagarkar, Shree Designs

2. Needs Assessment

A thorough needs assessment lays the foundation for a successful design. This involves detailed consultations with medical professionals to understand the nuances of their practice. For a dental clinic, this might mean ensuring ample private spaces for consultations and state-of-the-art dental chairs. The goal is to balance functionality with comfort, ensuring that the space meets the technical demands and creates a welcoming atmosphere for patients.

Find out more about how we integrate features for dental clinic designs in our blog linked here: Designing A Dental Clinic For Success

3. Site Selection and Planning

The choice of location significantly influences the design and functionality of a healthcare facility. Factors like accessibility, proximity to other medical services, and even the local climate play a crucial role. For instance, designing a rehabilitation centre in a tranquil, natural setting can aid patient recovery. Healthcare architects carefully evaluate each site, ensuring that it not only meets logistical requirements but also complements the therapeutic objectives of the facility.

4. Patient-Centred Design

Patient comfort is paramount. This goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about creating a healing environment. For a paediatric ward, this could involve using bright, cheerful colours and including play areas to make the space less intimidating for children.

It’s time to inject some playfulness and get rid of the cold sterility in inpatient environments! When we introduce colour and light to brighten up healthcare facilities for children, we can vastly improve their experience. Find out how in our blog linked here! 5 Best Ways To Create Healing Spaces For Kids

On the other hand, In designing senior facilities, the priority would be on safety and comfort with a focus on fall prevention, infection control, and clear wayfinding. Non-slip flooring, strategically placed handrails, and senior-friendly furniture layouts are employed to minimise fall risks. Infection safety is addressed through easy-to-clean surfaces and advanced ventilation systems.

Learn how to keep your healthcare facility clean and sterile with our in-depth blog 5 Design Tips To Keep Your Healthcare Facility Safe And Sterile

For easy navigation, the design incorporates intuitive layouts, high-contrast signage, and visual cues, enhancing both independence and security for seniors. This holistic approach ensures a safe, comfortable, and dignified living environment for elderly residents.

Our blog article Navigational Design In Hospitals dives deep into the strategies behind effective wayfinding and navigation in healthcare facilities.

5. Functional Design

A well-designed healthcare facility optimises the workflow, enhances patient care, and improves staff efficiency. This involves strategically placing medical equipment, designing intuitive patient navigation paths, and ensuring privacy in treatment areas.

For instance, in an urgent care clinic, the design would focus on minimizing wait times and providing rapid access to care.

To find out how to create spaces that are not just visually appealing but are also highly functional and efficient, read our insightful blog: Patient-centric Clinic Designs

6. Technology Integration

Departments like pathology, radiology and cardiac cath labs primarily depend on large-scale equipment or analysers.

In integrating technology into healthcare design, architects must ensure the infrastructure aligns with the needs of sophisticated systems. For instance, installing an MRI machine or CT scan requires specific environmental conditions, like controlled temperature and humidity, and robust electrical and data connections. Architects must also consider the machine’s weight and size, ensuring the facility can support it structurally. Healthcare design experts streamline these processes, ensuring that the facility accommodates these high-tech machines and optimises their functionality.

Learn how design helps set up specialised centres like cardiac cath labs and ICUs in our blogs linked here:

3 Lessons Learned While Building A Cardiac Cath Lab | Shree Designs

3 Essential Design Features For Intensive Care Units

Conclusion:

Single-specialty hospitals are marking a significant shift in healthcare, blending focused medical care with thoughtful design. This approach not only caters to specific patient needs but also reflects global trends towards specialised healthcare.

Shree Designs’ approach to healthcare architecture and design combines a deep understanding of medical specialities with a commitment to creating patient-centred spaces. Our expertise in hospital planning and designing, coupled with a keen eye for hospital interior design, ensures that we create healthcare facilities that are not just buildings but healing environments.

Learn more about our process through our case studies and completed projects.