Your medical office’s design and floor plan are crucial because they set the tone for the practice as a whole. The goal is to make patients as comfortable as possible, and the layout goes a long way toward achieving that purpose.
A floor plan is essentially a diagram that provides an overhead view of the interior of a room or building. This outline should incorporate features like hallways, doorways, and walls and can even include rough ideas on furniture and traffic patterns. A building’s floor plan differs from its design because it’s more of a basic overview that doesn’t include many specifics. Architects and contractors use this plan to put the general space together before a designer comes in and fine-tunes everything with the details.
There are many aspects to consider when developing a medical office floor plan that will dictate the direction you take the space. This guide will take you through some questions to ask yourself throughout the process to help you attain the best results.
Why Your Medical Office Floor Plan Matters
Much attention focuses on designing a medical office space, but the floor plan is equally valuable because it creates the framework. This structure makes it possible to tie the entire design plan together and make a space that patients will appreciate. Here are some goals to keep in mind:
- Define Spaces
The most important job of a floor plan is to determine the separate spaces within a building. The layout you select will include various offices, exam rooms, waiting rooms, and hallways, all of which should create separation and offer privacy for patients. These spaces should also give staff enough room to work efficiently.
- Create Comfort
Hand in hand with defined spaces is comfort for patients. Visiting a medical office is stressful, and patients don’t want to worry about not having space in a waiting room or having an exam room without adequate privacy. Creating a floor plan that embraces comfort is essential for a successful medical practice.
- Ensures Compliance
Your floor plan should ensure you’re compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to avoid potential fines. The good news is that taking some simple measurements while creating your layout makes it less likely that you’ll end up making a mistake.
Your medical office floor plan is vital to your practice, staff, and patients. There are more aspects to consider, however, that will ensure you end up with an ideal space to meet your needs.
7 Medical Office Floor Plan Issues to Consider
Developing a medical office floor plan is a significant step toward outlining how the workplace will look in the future, so it’s important to think it through carefully. You must ask yourself some questions before creating this plan to ensure you cover everything you need to make the office comfortable. Here are a few considerations:
1. Determine the Workflow
The last thing you want is for medical staff and patients to get in each other’s way constantly, so designing the floor plan should take the workflow into account. The layout should eliminate bottlenecks and put high-use equipment or rooms away from high-traffic areas that will see many people passing through. Providing staff and patients with easy access to the places they’ll frequent is essential.
2. Choose the Type of Office
It should go without saying that you’ll want to consider the type of medical office you’re operating when coming up with a floor plan. Offices that serve many senior citizens might want wider halls and spaces to accommodate handrails, while pediatricians should consider larger waiting rooms to provide activities for children. Carefully consider the needs of your patients before determining the best floor plan.
3. Number of Patients Daily
Busy medical offices might require more exam rooms and additional space for staff to use between patients. Keep in mind that creating more medical and breakroom space could come at the expense of the waiting room or office area. The goal is to make your patients comfortable, so there’s a chance you might have to make some sacrifices when developing a layout.
4. Type of Equipment Used
You’ll need to make room for your medical equipment. Make room for the essential tools of your medical practice, and ensure that you can use them productively without feeling cramped. Your final layout could depend on how efficiently you can fit these into the space.
5. Expansion Plans
Creating a flexible floor plan is advisable if you believe your practice will grow in the coming years. Having the ability to turn an office into a procedure room or a secondary waiting room into an examination space ensures you can keep up with demand and grow as you become more established in your community.
6. Storage Needs
Storage space could be essential for equipment you need to have on hand but barely use, or for certain medical records. There’s always a need for storage, but the exact amount you’ll require is dependent on your situation. You’ll want to determine how much storage space you need before finalizing any floor plan.
7. Legal Requirements
There are legal requirements for your medical office space, and your floor plan will have to meet those conditions. The ADA states that you must have the necessary equipment to treat disabled individuals and provides guidelines on counter heights, hallway widths, turnaround space, and door openings.
Answering these questions while developing a medical office floor plan ensures you don’t miss any essential ideas you’ll have to address later, whether you’re expanding your space or moving to a new office. Putting a thorough plan together ahead of time can save you a lot of hassle in the future.
Your Source for Professional Design Assistance
Planning your medical office floor plan could involve starting from scratch with an empty space or renovating the interior of an existing building. Receiving help from an experienced team can make all the difference in either scenario.
The Genau Group provides proven interior design expertise in the Washington, D.C. area. We also offer project management services for offices that require a completely new layout or floor plan. Be sure to contact us today for more information on our interior design and project management solutions.