Healthcare Expo Showcases Flexibility & Virtual Care

Steelcase Health highlighted virtual care and flexibility in healthcare design as two key topics impacting the industry in 2019.

Healthcare Design Conference and Expo highlighted virtual care and flexibility in healthcare design as two key topics impacting the industry in 2019. Known as the industry’s premier design show, more than 4,000 industry professionals and 250 exhibitors including Steelcase Health gathered in New Orleans to collaborate on how the design of responsibly-built environments directly impacts healthcare facilities and outcomes. The future of the healthcare industry comes into view as attendees network, discuss best practices and share innovative design concepts.

Waiting + Transition

Versatile transition spaces allow for visitors to choose a setting that supports their desired waiting experience.

Supporting the Family

Healthcare organizations need spaces that work for all people. This family lounge offers residential styling but has all of the high-performance features expected in a healthcare environment.

Flexible Exam Space

Exam room today, infusion space, consultation room, or clinical team office tomorrow. Flexible furniture and architecture can be modified or converted as a healthcare organization’s needs change.

Clinician Work

Research shows clinicians value the ability to adapt in response to patient and team needs, so designing with modifiable furniture can help to improve their work experience.

Virtual Care Consultation

Integrated technology and multiple seating options allow clinicians to collaborate and share information with patients in person or virtually.

Steelcase Health contributed to central themes on stage and in the exhibit hall including the idea of flexibility for the ever-changing landscape in healthcare. Seth Starner, Advanced Explorations for Steelcase Health, participated in a panel discussion where he shared a framework to help provide greater clarity to the meaning of flexibility and how it can influence healthcare design.


A research collaboration between CADRE (Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation), HKS Architects and Steelcase Health uncovered the flexibility framework. It clarifies spatial flexibility by attribute: who changes or makes the change, the type of change and the ease and cost of changes. The framework makes it easier to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders and plan for how the physical environment can contribute to an organization’s future healthcare strategy. For more details about this research collaboration and the emerging framework, read Flexibility in Healthcare Environments.

Another popular topic at the conference this year centered around virtual care and how the built environment can support a better “webside” manner. More and more, patients and healthcare organizations are choosing virtual video visits for services that in the past would have required being together in the same exam room. Virtual care can be deployed at home, in hubs that support multiple clinicians across many service lines, in emergency departments, and in the community, including rural outpatient clinics, at work, or even local retail outlets. (Read: Effective Webside Manner: What Does It Take?)


Discover more insights about the future of healthcare and how the physical environment plays a critical role at

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