5 Ideas in Medical Practice Fitouts which Speak Volumes
Medical Practice Fitouts need to cater for patients, carers & staff in terms of their physical comfort and support, their psychological needs, safety and security.
When talking design and construction, words like accessibility, durability, practicality, functionality and quality must be part of the language.
Here’s 5 big ideas which speak volumes:
1. Location, location, location.
Physical proximity to local transport is highly desirable.
Getting the demographics right is high on the list.
Study the area to ensure it has the right population spread to fit the type of practice: eg: obstetrics in a young family oriented area.
Choosing a site with enough car parking to satisfy town planning regulations is a must. An ambulance bay, full access ramping for wheelchairs will be part of the requirements so ensure the site will be able to cope with those needs.
2. Patient Experience.
A Medical Practice is a business but it must connect with patients in a special way.
So, it's a useful idea is to “walk through” the design in the role of a patient as you plan your fitout.
Feel the experience as you enter, how you’ll be received, where you’ll need to wait, how your small child will be occupied in the process, where you’ll be directed to the right consulting space or treatment room and so on.
Going through those paces may well highlight some new needs not previously thought of.
3. The Waiting Area:
Usually the waiting area is the first connection point. So developing a welcoming, calming environment is a must.
Allow enough open space around the entry door for people to come and go at the same time, for prams and wheelchairs to enter and exit, including a very clear entry path to follow thereafter.
Think of ways of soothing the stress often very evident in a waiting area by featuring a view to the outdoors, including plenty of greenery, allowing plenty of natural or warm artificial light to flow, and breaking up areas to cater for small children, anxious or introverted patients, family groups and the elderly.
Ensure seating is comfortable and suits everyone’s needs, so mix up the formats: chairs with arm support, long benches for family groups, fun stools for children to perch on and so on.
4. Show you Care with Extra Facilities:
Adding in small extras can bring big satisfaction.
Show that you’ve thought of your patients by treating them to facilities like a fresh coffee/herbal tea/ filtered water station, a pram parking zone, IT charging stations, Wi Fi connectivity, a creative, clean children’s activity area, a quiet zone for special counselling. Facilities like these speak care, comfort and concern.
5. Get the Finishes Right:
Bench tops, furniture surfaces, flooring, wall finishes - all can be beautiful, but they need to be hygienic.
Choosing non -porous, solid surface materials without crevices and joints is highly recommended. Vinyl flooring, particularly in treatment areas, which coves and provides no joints is a must.
Minimise hard finishes like floor and wall tiles which won’t absorb sound in favour of vinyls, carpets and woven materials which have better acoustics.
Simple things can make a difference.
Be open, flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing needs of medical practices to keep your fitout relevant and your patients happy.