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Herman Miller

Navigating Change in Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare organizations face an ongoing challenge in managing their facilities. While treatment and care processes continually evolve, many healthcare spaces are not designed to adapt. Herman Miller partnered with Continuum for its design thinking to create Compass — a groundbreaking modular furniture system that improves the patient experience and helps healthcare facilities navigate change.

Our ethnographic researchers talked with more than 550 clinicians, hospital administrators, architects and designers.

Over the course of two years, our ethnographic researchers talked with more than 550 clinicians, hospital administrators, architects and designers to discover the most important unmet needs in how patient and exam rooms are designed now. Flexibility was critical, of course; nothing stays the same for long in technology and healthcare these days. But an improved patient experience and helping caregivers be more effective was also important.

Compass is designed to adapt. A modular system of interchangeable components for hospital and outpatient facilities, Compass is used to create applications for patient rooms, exam rooms, caregiver work areas, and other clinical spaces. The system was designed to meet infection prevention requirements and processes. Its innovative sink and faucet design reduces splashing — a major contributor to the spread of infection. Its combination of seamless, wrapped surfaces and overlapping tiles minimizes the potential for liquids to seep into unseen areas. In addition, Compass components are raised off the floor. The open floor area allows the room to be cleaned more quickly and thoroughly. In addition, the open space maximizes the feeling of openness — a critical consideration in the context of increasingly smaller healthcare spaces.