A medical office is a special place where health is regarded with the utmost importance and where the value of life is upheld. It is not your regular office building that provides a conducive area for working or your typical leisure place that calls for sheer comfort. Neither is it your regular commercial edifice that focuses on aesthetic design to allure the public.
A medical office is more than that. It has complex functional requirements that traditional or commercial buildings do not. Typically, medical settings can be ambulatory surgical centres, birthing centres, medical clinics, dialysis centres, hospices, hospitals, imaging and radiology centres, mental health institutions, nursing home, urgent cares and a whole lot more.
It is important to note that more than just the aesthetic features of the medical office, its overall functionality should come as a priority. In this section, we will tackle three common design mistakes that medical offices often make.
Stressing more on aesthetic beauty than quality
At the very core, a medical office is a place where healthcare is provided. Inside the office are medical staff, nurses, and doctors wearing white robes. Patients come in with health situations.
Given this scenario, the aesthetic beauty of a medical office should not come off as clinical and insensitive to the patients’ conditions. It should also complement the healthcare providers’ brand. A medical office should look neutral with calming and soothing designs.
With that being said, the quality of the medical office structure should come as a priority over aesthetic beauty. Safety is incredibly important and every element of the facility should be designed to be convenient for patients. The office must be clean and sanitary while producing psychological upliftment.
Focusing only on initial cost rather than functionality
Some contractors, architects, and designers only focus on the initial costs of building and designing a medical office without realizing the importance of functionality. In ensuring a cost-effective medical office set-up, the team would typically choose materials and designs in accordance with the budget at hand for the construction.
However, a medical office is not a place to be shortchanged as it serves as a place to heal the sick and even extend’s an individual life. In fact, the functionality requirements should be considered prior to the determining of the financial costs. This is because health and safety should not be compromised. Healthcare providers should have a convenient place to pursue their profession and take care of their patients. At the same time, patients should be comfortable around the medical office. The convenience that they feel can alleviate the pain and help them to heal more quickly.
Ignoring the flow of circulation and flexibility
Finally, some contractors, architects, and designers neglect the flow of the medical office, forgetting the need for flexibility in the corners of the medical place.
A steady flow of circulation should be in place, from the parking area to the main entrance to the receptionist to the emergency room to the intensive care unit up to the patient’s private room. Patients and family members should not be easily confused and end up lost in the area. There should be an intuitive structure to the office — from the doctor’s office to the nurse’s station, as well as from the imaging and the radiology sections to the laboratory testing areas. Flexibility makes a great deal of difference in the medical office.
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