As you walk through the doors of OceanMed, you may wonder if you’ve just entered a luxurious spa — and that is completely by design.
OceanMed is the first medical facility in the Cayman Islands to focus exclusively on women’s health. Located in Bayshore Mall in the heart of George Town, overlooking the beautiful Caribbean Sea, you won’t find cold, clinical examination rooms or hard plastic chairs here.
Instead, nature has been brought indoors in the form of soothing sensory suites with softly lit virtual windows on the walls and ceiling. There are idyllic scenes of blue skies and palm trees; lapping waves on a beach; gentle brooks and streams; and tropical fish frolicking undersea.
Add in relaxing music on speakers (including your own playlist, if you wish), and essential oil diffusers with the sweet scent of lavender emitted in the air. This multi-sensory approach to healthcare helps to create an immediate feeling of ease and comfort for clients.
It’s also backed by science, as studies indicate that pain can be lessened when other senses are stimulated, which is an especially handy tool when faced with an unpleasant medical procedure.
A white and soft-grey colour scheme carefully balances the serene ocean tones that have been incorporated throughout the facility. Adorning the walls are decorative wainscotting, textured wall coverings, sconces, and original artwork by Ruby Marr and Julie Corsetti. Underneath panelled ceilings, elegant chandeliers have been hung to evoke warmth and intimacy.
In the patient lounge there are comfy white upholstered chairs and lockers for personal belongings; while the obstetric suite includes ambient ‘gender reveal’ cove lighting for those who wish to know the sex of their baby.
Design Studio worked with the OceanMed team to bring their vision to life, as they considered how the spaces would be used and how the overall experience would be for clients.
Interior designer Michelle Butler says her team was engaged in the process from a very early stage, sourcing the decorative lighting, wall coverings and furnishings, which included customised Crypton-grade upholstered items.
“I think these gorgeous features really play an important role in the design,” she says. “Although we were encouraged to create a beautiful space, we were also working within a medical environment, so all of the soft items had to be made to stand up to this use.”
Fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, techniques and technology, all services at OceanMed are geared to female issues, from obstetrics to gynaecology to radiology; and despite the high-end setting, it is at no extra cost to clients as they are only charged standard insurance rates.
“This is a place in which women can be feeling very vulnerable and the OceanMed concept started with a priority on quality, comfort and thoughtful detail,” says Michelle. “The clinic is less a medical facility and more of a spa in its interior design, and as such, the clients have the same kind of welcome, tranquility and care that they would typically experience in a spa.”
The response from clients thus far has been very positive, according to Shahla Powery, managing director at OceanMed.
“They comment on the details of the design, the warm welcoming and breathtaking atmosphere, and never have they been to a more beautiful facility,” she says. “Some have laughed and asked if they could stay all day.”
Originally published in InsideOut magazine, Issue 37, Spring Summer 2020.