Interior design is having its moment in healthcare

A pair of crystal chandeliers illuminate the open bar stocked with infused waters and teas rich in antioxidants. Around the room, trendy air-purifying fiddle-leaf fig plants draw your eye up to the recessed gold ceiling. And a row of bistro tables line the wall of French-style windows, which are likely to open on warmer Chicago days. The Clark isn't a chic new bistro. It's Swedish Covenant Health's Instagram-worthy outpatient clinic. Beyond the gilt-edged waiting room are nine exam rooms and a phlebotomy lab, among other traditional, yet posh, health center fixtures. The 3,500-square-foot clinic, scheduled to open Feb. 28, is just one example of a trend that's sweeping the health care industry. From aesthetic improvements to the creation of mixed-use spaces, hospitals and clinics are upgrading interiors to attract and retain patients, as well as skilled clinicians—and even create new revenue streams. The focus on design comes at a time when organizations rooted in inpatient care are building new outpatient sites in response to pressures for lower-cost treatment settings.

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