Designing a Healthcare Office
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- Design Tips
When people go to a physician’s office, they’re often sick or nervous. The office environment can help patients relax and feel better while still being efficient.
Physical Changes to Space
As technology takes over, practices are going through physical changes.
Gone is the need for huge filing rooms for paper charts since electronic health records are the norm. Doctors don’t all have individual offices anymore. Instead, they have collaborative spaces where physicians, nurses, and other medical staff can discuss patient care.
Patient privacy laws mean checking patients in right next to the waiting room can’t happen. Areas that separate patient waiting areas from administrative areas are common. Having separate areas not only satisfies the privacy requirements, but it also helps patients feel like they are moving through the office efficiently instead of just sitting and waiting with many other patients.
Keeping patient and employee traffic moving in a loop around the office adds to efficiency. If patients start and end their visit in a reception area without retracing their steps, traffic flow keeps moving and they are not confused about where to go.
Exam rooms are often bigger now because many patients bring friends or family members along with them to their appointments. There needs to be space to accommodate additional people while still allowing the doctor to do their job.
In the exam room, many practices want to encourage dialogue between patient and physician. Having chairs for the patient to talk with the doctor instead of always being on an exam table can help the patient feel more comfortable.
Adding design features that will provide a positive distraction in both waiting and exam rooms can divert attention for patients while they are waiting and remove stressors. Photos and literature about worst-case-scenarios will not relax a patient. Instead, an interesting piece of art can make things more comfortable.
Light but warm-colored paint on the walls and natural artwork can provide a calming atmosphere. Bringing in natural light and views of the outdoors can make an office more inviting and relaxing. Decorative lamps can also soften the atmosphere.
Coffee table books in waiting rooms provide a distraction to patients. Looking at photos and reading interesting content can be better than reading old and outdated magazines which are often staples of medical waiting rooms. Looking at interesting materials can also help distract patients from how long they have been waiting.
Consider adding a pleasant scent to your waiting room, but nothing too strong. A calming scent can help remove stress for patients. It also can eliminate the antiseptic and hospital-like smell some places have.
At Beaux-Arts Group, we have the goal of providing today’s healthcare facilities with attractive, adaptive, and durable furniture. We carry a variety of products for all kinds of healthcare facilities from waiting rooms, to exam areas, to office and break spaces. Contact us today.