The modern medical practice is unique from those you may be accustomed to. For example, EHRs have replaced the traditional paper charts, mobile devices are used for notes, and access to video chat has made remote care possible.
However, if you are ready to design your medical office and create a practical and functional layout, you may wonder how all these changes will affect it. If that’s the case, keep reading. Here you can find some tips and ideas to create the best medical office layout to ensure patient satisfaction and employee productivity.
1. Privacy Considerations and Protection
When laying out a medical office, privacy is paramount. Make sure the design promotes privacy where needed and social interaction where required.
Including private rooms with noise-canceling materials and features is a must. Things like vinyl floors and soundproofed ceiling tiles can help with this.
Also, make sure the design and layout account for HIPAA regulations. This will ensure you protect patient information.
2. Spacing and Size
Another consideration when planning medical office designs is the number of people who will be in and out of your office each day. Some facilities will see hundreds of patients daily.
However, smaller practices may only see around 10 to 12 patients each day. You need to consider the size of the facility you need to ensure it can accommodate your patients.
If you expect higher volumes of patients, having larger waiting rooms, more amenities, and more exam rooms are needed. Determining spatial needs for your office is an important step in the design planning process.
3. Chairs vs. Couches
Most people in the U.S. don’t want to share with strangers. If you have couches in your waiting room, it makes the space uncomfortable for your patients.
Having chairs is much more personal. Choosing some armless chairs is ideal for your pregnant or disabled patients.
4. Design Larger Exam Rooms
Since the medical field now has a more consultative relationship between doctor and patient, more patients bring people to their appointments. This may help them remember what the doctor says or serve as an advocate for care.
To accommodate more people, exam rooms must be larger. Along with having more space, you also need to ensure the doctor has easy access to the computer to take notes and input important information.
5. Comfort Considerations
The right décor in a medical office can help create a space that is optimized for healing. As mentioned above, exam rooms are now larger to host more people.
Ensuring everyone in the space is comfortable is a must. This can be done by adding indirect sources of natural light and biophilic elements. By doing this, you can reduce anxiety and stress while creating a comfortable and soft feeling.
You also need to account for the staff’s comfort. Make sure a spacious, comfortable break area is worked into the medical office design.
6. The Flow of Traffic
No one wants to have to backtrack. Patients will not want to walk from one end of the office to another just for a checkup. Also, your staff does not want to have to retrace their steps to handle a task.
Having an unintuitive layout is going to create this unnecessary backtracking. It can also result in human traffic jams and congestion that result in even more delays.
Ensuring a good office layout is going to send traffic to a single location. It also allows patients and employees to cycle back to other areas as needed.
7. Rethink the Television
Having a television in the waiting room can provide a distraction and minimize boredom. However, it can also increase patient stress.
For example, patients may disagree about what show to watch. Or shows that others feel are offensive, inappropriate, or controversial may be put on.
It’s important to remember that most people have a phone that can access the internet today. Because of this, they have a source of personal entertainment. Rethink the TV, as this may be an unneeded hassle in your practice.
8. Choose a Complimentary Design
Where rooms are in the medical office is just as important as how it is designed. For example, professionals may do a good job when designing the employee restroom; however, this doesn’t need to be put right by an exam room.
The placement of rooms in a medical office needs to be considered carefully. Make sure the final design is complementary and makes sense.
9. Provide a Clean and Comfortable Waiting Area
The first room your patients see is the waiting area. This is going to be what they use to judge the remainder of your health care office and practice.
Be sure your waiting area is clean, comfortable, and calm. Create the same vibe you would get in a hotel lobby.
Make sure you pick up trash regularly throughout the day. Eliminate excessive papers from the reception area. Make sure the waiting area is welcoming to your patients.
In most cases, you can find ways to use the architectural design of your office to create this comfortable space. There are even ways you can use decor for reducing infection and the spread of germs.
Designing a Comfortable and Functional Medical Office
If you are ready to begin designing your medical office, or any facility in the health industry, be sure to keep the tips and information here in mind. Doing this will help ensure you get the desired function from the space and that your patients and staff will be happy and comfortable.
When it comes to designing a medical office, there are a lot of considerations. If you found the information above helpful, and want more design tips, read some of our other blogs.