How To Design A New Medical Office Space
Technology and shifting trends have had a monumental impact on the traditional medical office space, and with those changes comes the need for adaptation. However, this can be a great thing, especially when designing a brand new medical office space from scratch.
These days, medical offices are a lot more streamlined, thanks in large part to how technology has managed to integrate itself with the industry. When designing your new medical office space, be sure to keep a few details in mind in order to maximize efficiency, and patient care.
USE THE HOT DESK MODEL
Hot desking has become a phenomenon in business, especially as the capacity for work takes on a more mobile-based approach. Gone are the days of one employee per desk, which has now given way to multiple people sharing the same space.
Physicians are now adopting this model in many medical offices. When designing your space, try to determine how many individuals can use one single office to get their work done. This goes double for areas normally reserved for patient consultations.
EXPAND THE EXAM ROOM
Examination rooms tend to be rather cramped by design, and this is becoming a challenge in an era when family members are being brought on to assist their loved ones during the consultation process. Factor in the need for a computer in order for the physician to do their job, and the need for space becomes obvious.
It’s no secret that exam rooms have been expanding in size over the years, and this is a good thing. Not only does it provide more elbow room, but it also allows for better patient care, especially if another family member is there for comfort, or advice.
Technological advancements in the medical field have helped streamline an astonishing amount of work that would normally take up not only valuable time, but space as well. Gone are the days when massive file cabinets were needed to store patient records.
Now, it’s all recorded via computer data files, which frees up a massive amount of space for other things. The benefits of technology don’t stop there, however. Tablets can be used for patients to sign in, make payments, register, or fill out questionnaires, while LAN-based WiFi can take care of internet connectivity across multiple devices.
HIRE AN IT TECHNICIAN
When dealing with sensitive information such as patient records, it’s very wise to hire a reputable and established IT technician or company that is capable of handling your technological needs. This will prevent disasters like data breaches or malware infecting the various office computers around the office, not to mention a main server. Devices should be locked down by IT personnel, and monitored on a routine basis in order to make sure everything’s safe and secure.
Beyond the security concerns, it’s best to opt for things like Ethernet-based connections, which allow for faster data transfers and better flow. Plus, wireless connections come with an inherent set of security risks, so they should not be used when transferring sensitive data.
CONSIDER PATIENT FLOW AS IT RELATES TO LAYOUT
Sometimes, it’s best to eliminate redundant office segments in order to maximize patient flow and quality of care. This can include removing chart rooms in favor of more examination or waiting rooms, among other things.
The objective is to identify areas that may not be getting much use, and repurpose them for areas where patient care may start to dwindle. This can yield multiple benefits, not the least of which is more privacy and less stress for inbound patients. Couple these repurposed areas with computers that allow staff to record vital info at various stages of the patients’ visit, and your medical office space will operate like a well-oiled machine.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FOCUS GROUPS
When designing a medical office space, it’s vital to get everyone’s opinion when it comes to departmental needs. For instance, the front desk will have an entirely different set of requirements and needs, as opposed to physicians and nurses operating in other areas of the clinic.
Focus groups not only identify how to streamline each area, but they also provide an opportunity for different departments to talk amongst themselves, and develop an optimal flow when it comes to patient care. The objective is to provide the highest quality service in the fastest and most efficient manner possible.
With so many advancements in the medical industry, health care professionals are having an easier time when it comes to delivering the best possible service. If you’re ready to become part of this exciting industry, then you’ll need the right medical office space to work your magic. Follow these steps, and your establishment will soon become a trusted and beloved place for patients to receive the best possible care.