A recent study on the facilities of several medical centers shows that elements including layout and lighting can vastly reduce errors in medical practices, promote faster healing, lower stress levels among patients and staff, and even lessen drug reliance. Benefits that can also be realized when the design practice is applied to offices of doctors too.
In relation, this article offers information about the things you need to think about in terms of doctors’ office layout and design. You may not be able to do all these things at once, but every little change can definitely make a difference.
1. Offer a comfortable waiting room. A Doctor’s waiting area is often times the very first impression for new patients. With this, you must make sure that it is both comfortable and inviting. You can have an area for coffee or tea while offering chairs with sturdy arms and good support at the same time. Also, consider the fact that a lot of patients want to be productive as they wait, so why not offer accessible and prominent educational material in addition to free Wi-Fi access?
2. The space of the exam room must be used wisely. Inside the testing area, you may have flexible and functional furniture that takes up less space but can meet your patients need. This is otherwise known as the application of smart design.
3. The outdoors go in. According to related medical research, patients that are just recovering from their surgery took lesser painkillers and had shorter stays when their room had a view of trees rather than a view of a wall. Even the things that depict nature like murals and artworks have a good effect on patients.
Today, various healthcare facilities are starting to take cues from spa clinics when it comes to incorporating nature-inspired works, water elements, natural materials, and other related things into their design. To do this, you can choose to use materials such as stone and wood that are under natural color palettes. And if you want to enhance the feel and look of your medical area, some potted plants like spider plants and aloe vera can help you address the indoor air quality concerns.
4. Use technology to enhance the client experience. One important component of modern medical care is the technology, which is why you should learn how to best adapt this tool to the design and layout of your office. Also, keep in mind that it cannot just help but hurt the patient experience so use it wisely.
Take for example the modern way of record keeping that many nurses and physicians struggle with, such as the integration part. Some turn their backs on the sick person as they do the needed data entry, while others feel tethered to something out of their expertise. A scenario that can make a sick person feel like no one’s really listening to him or her.
To make a difference, choose the smart design. You can use shared work areas that promote collaboration and better communication among the healthcare people. You can also place the computers below the level of the eyes. And in the event that you need to talk about some complicated medical information with the patient, choose to use a tablet that can be both viewed by you and the patient at the same time.
To conclude, with the increasing number of patients that a doctor needs to attend to and who require a lot of their time, the design of the office may seem not a priority. But evidence-based design proves that it does make a huge difference and that healthcare quality is more important than anything else.
About the Author:
Alison Jones is the founder of i Medical Space Planning, offering Medical Space Planning and Floor Planning services remotely to medical offices all around the country. Alison LeVino Jones, CHID, ASID, EDAC, IIDA, LEED AP is a recipient of the 2007 ASID Lifetime Design Achievement Award (for Excellence in Interior Design and Exceptional Design Portfolio) in addition to numerous ASID Healthcare Design Awards. Her work is profiled nationally in books, magazines and seminars.