Healthcare flooring can help facilitate patient rehabilitation

An interior designer examines how healthcare flooring in one rehabilitation hospital helps to facilitate patient care.

By Healthcare Facilities Today
April 2, 2013

In the healthcare design industry there is a lot of discussion about how evidence-based design can be used to reduce patient health risks, from using materials that help prevent the spread of infection or patient falls, to floor plans that provide better patient visibility. 

But in a recent blog post, “Zooming in: Healthcare flooring as a rehabilitation tool,” interior designer Sarah Norville Peinhardt of Gresham, Smith and Partners examines how healthcare flooring can also be used to facilitate patient care.

In her blog, Peinhardt discusses the flooring design of the new 48,000-square-foot HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Cypress, Texas. The 40-bed hospital provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient physical and occupational therapy services. 

The floors in the hospital’s hallways and gym are designed with repeating patterns (measured in meters) that match distance markers in most standard gait tests. This allows therapists to observe patients’ progress in more natural conditions, because patients are not aware their gait is being assessed. 

It also means that therapists do not need a special area to test patients, and every step a patient takes is part of recovery and rehabilitation. The floor patterns also serve as an effective wayfinding tool for patients and visitors alike, the blog states. 






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