A perfectly crafted color palette can set the tone for a healthcare facility, whether it’s the product of renovation, interior design, or a new-build project. But determining what shades of colors are best suited for your medical office should be done with consideration of how you can keep patients calm.
Learn how to create an environment that will create and foster health and wellness with the help of colors.
How to Choose Calming Colors for Your Medical Space
Color tones and contrasting textures create the ambience of the space. This could be in the furniture you choose, as well as the colors of your walls and fixtures. If you are designing your medical office, you may want to consider calming and soothing colors that help your patients feel more at ease.
Blue represents honesty, loyalty, wisdom, dependability, and security. It can help bring down blood pressure, and slow respiration and heart rate. It is considered calming, relaxing and serene, and it is often recommended for medical offices for healing properties.
A pastel blue can come across as unpleasantly chilly on the walls and furnishings. A light blue, on the other hand, can balance well with warm hues for furnishings and fabrics. To encourage relaxation in waiting or exam areas, consider warmer blues such as periwinkle, or bright blues such as cerulean or turquoise. Softer blues are known to have a calming effect when used as the main color of a room. Darker blues can have the opposite effect, evoking feelings of sadness.
Green is very pleasing to the senses. Combining the refreshing quality of blue and cheerfulness of yellow, green has a calming effect when used as a main color for decorating. It is believed to relieve stress and is often associated with peace, harmony and support.
Yellow is commonly associated with laughter, happiness and joy. A room decorated with yellow fosters positivity because the brain reportedly releases serotonin when around this color. It has energizing properties, but be careful with yellow; when too strong, it is the color of intensity. Use yellow sparingly in just the right places to add contrast and visual interest, but refrain from using it as your choice for main color schemes. In larger amounts, yellow can create feelings of frustration and anger.
Pink is believed to be the most calming of all colors. Think of pink as the color of compassion, kindness, empathy, and hope. A touch of pink in a room is intuitive and insightful; a positive color inspiring warm and comforting feelings. It is a positive color that reassures our emotional energies, alleviating feelings of anger and aggression. In a healthcare facility, the color pink helps patients relate to understanding and the giving and receiving of nurturing.
Color Tones to Avoid
Red is the color of energy, movement and excitement. Red is not commonly used in the healthcare industry. Invoking feelings of rage and hostility, this color can raise blood pressure, and increase respiration and heart rate. Sitting for long periods of time in a room painted in red will likely affect the peace and harmony you are striving to create in your medical office. Instead of ensuring you keep patients calm, they will likely feel less at ease.
Orange evokes excitement and enthusiasm, and is an energetic color. While this color is great for an exercise room, it is not recommended for your medical office as it stimulates deprivation, frivolity, frustration, and immaturity. Unlike the calming and healing properties of blues and greens, orange increases energy levels.
How to Choose a Color Palette for Your Medical Office
Stick to 2 or 3 colors and one accent color. This allows for simplicity in design and visual interest.
Follow the 60-30-10 rule. Use a primary color for 60% of the space, a secondary color for 30% of the space, and an accent color for the remaining 10%.
The makeup of your target audience. For hospitals and medical offices, gear towards using cool and calming colors to create a soothing environment. Stay away from bright, highly saturated colors or high contrast colors as either can create a sense of anxiety.
Time is money. Every practice, small or large, wants to operate in the most cost-effective manner, even during relocation. It is an exciting prospect; however, the actual move can be very stressful. In fact, most people involved in the process will experience high stress levels, sleepless nights, and blame if anything goes wrong. To minimize delays and errors, it is essential to understand the best approach and how to customize it for your move.
To help you get started, we have compiled a best practices guide for moving your medical practice to a new location.
Plan Ahead, Be Proactive
Planning ahead is essential, as it will usually solve 50% of the potential problems your practice could encounter during a move. Planning ahead and getting started early can reduce costs, alleviate stress levels, lessen missteps, and cause less misjudgments often caused by rushing.
Plan at least a year in advance. Allow even more time if you have more than 50 employees.
Create a Timeline and Schedule
Organization is everything. Creating a timeline can help set expectations, ease anxiety, and ensure everything gets done when it needs to – all in a specific order. For example, you will need to have your phone and network cables installed before you have your business phone system set up. A timeline can help manage these numerous tasks.
Assign a Move Coordinator
Appoint someone to be in charge as the move coordinator. Your ideal candidate will be a highly organized individual willing to internalize the best practices of planning the move of a medical practice. They will be responsible for managing the office move committee, communicating with vendors and keeping involved parties informed.
Select the Right Movers
A quality professional mover is essential to office relocation, so it’s essential to choose carefully. Office moves and relocation difficulties often occur when companies simply select movers on a whim without any real research. Thoroughly vet through service providers for a successful office relocation.
Plan IT Relocation Carefully
IT service providers and commercial movers can wreak havoc if IT equipment is mishandled. Many medical practices store the majority of their essential data on servers. If an IT relocation goes wrong, it can lead to serious operational and financial problems. It is imperative that your IT professional backs up your data and performs a test recovery prior to moving your IT equipment off the premises.
Plan Your Budget
It is very easy a move to go over budget. Revisit your budget regularly to make sure everything is in-line with initial estimated costs. An over-budget move can lead to financial headaches and setbacks. So keep track of all quotes and costs in a budget worksheet, and plan for contingent expenses.
If you need help finding a new property for your medical practice, get in contact with Boulevard Medical Properties.
A medical office suite layout must be practical, spacious and welcoming to patients and workers alike. When you design a medical office, there is no room for cutting corners. Depending on patient and staff needs and volume, you may need multiple patient examination rooms, a large waiting area or office and storage space.
Your medical office suite is an integral part of delivering a continuum of care, and how it is designed and set up is essential to the core of the practice. Medical practices continue to rapidly change, and adopting innovative design and configuration can also improve patient flow and staff efficiency.
Consolidate Physician Offices
Today’s physicians no longer have dedicated offices decorated with the accouterments of their profession like medical diplomas on the wall. Several physicians will share a single space for patient consultations, which opens up real estate for more exam rooms.
Create Private Patient Registration
Due to HIPAA privacy rules, patient registration is changing. Many practices are opting for a second patient registration area that offers more privacy for check-ins, payment, and the completion of medical records.
Customize the Waiting Room
Waiting rooms are an integral part of almost any medical facility. Patients often form their first impression of a medical office in the waiting room. Depending on the number of patients you treat per day, you can design a waiting room based on your clientele. Some people may not like to share close seating with others, especially in a sensitive area such as a doctor’s office.
Individual chairs often work better than large furnishings such as sofas. Design your space around traffic flow and set up your furniture and chairs with the patient in mind. Choose colors and textures carefully as they set the tone and ambience of the space. Green or blue hues suggest calming and soothing effects while yellow and red may cause anxiety and aggression.
An effective office layout is designed with a circular traffic flow that leads from the waiting room through the reception to exam rooms and back out the reception area again. Designing your space and traffic flow in the same direction promotes fluidity and less congestion. This ultimately ensures your patients can find their way around your practice more easily, and won’t happen to wander into areas that are off-limits.
Construct Efficient Exam Rooms
Exam rooms must be functional and convenient, not just for patients but also doctors and nurses alike. To save money, you may construct dual rooms with a shared plumbing system such as a sink. To add functionality and convenience, you may create identical exam rooms so medical staff always know where items are located.
Keep in Mind Confidentiality in Space & Design
The confidentiality of medical records and consultations must be protected at all times. To respect the privacy of your patients, office and storage space should be out of patients’ views.
Discrete Entrances for Physicians
Patient entrances should be separate from the entrances provided to physicians and other staff members. Issues can arise if patients see their doctor arriving late, as this can cause frustration and a sense among patients that their physician doesn’t necessarily care. This is regardless of the myriad reasons a physician could be late to work. A separate entrance for physicians and staff creates a “backstage” to be in their space, conduct their business, and get ready in between consultations and appointments.
Infections in operating rooms during surgery are a serious issue. Surgical site infections in the skin, tissue, organs, or an implant can prolong hospital stays by more than a week. In severe cases, it can lead to death.
Design and architecture of space is a major factor in preventing surgical site infections. The physical environment and ventilation of the room affects how pathogens travel through the air. The design of the facility can contribute to operating room efficiency or challenge the cost-efficiency of surgical care. A well-designed operating room requires emphasis on how the patient, tools and staffing flows and integrates with support resources. It considers future growth, market expansion and surgical discipline-specific facility requirements.
To help you get started, we have compiled a best practices guide for surgical room design.
5 Best Practices to Consider in Designing a Surgery Room
An inadequate operating room design can result in unnecessarily high staffing levels; inefficient use of surgeons’ time; decreased patient, surgeon, and anesthesiologist satisfaction; poor inventory quality; increased costs of operation; and decreased marketability to patients and surgeons. Five design factors to consider for surgery rooms are size, table location, infection control, technology, and innovation.
Choose the Ideal Size for Operating Rooms
The size of an operating room should be determined based on the types of operations that will be performed, number of required surgical staff, and the size of frequently used diagnostic and medical equipment.
Having the right size room is one of the most fundamental requirements for any operating room. They should be large enough for efficient patient transfer, sterile equipment setup, and roll-in diagnostic imaging equipment if necessary. It should also have a large area for circulation so that the staff don’t interfere with an ongoing procedure.
Bigger, however, is not always better. Unused space in the room tends to attract unnecessary supply and storage items. Blueprints of operation rooms in different sizes help determine the suitability and efficiency.
Determine Operating Table and Boom Location
Where you locate your operating table will largely depend on the workflow of the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other supporting staff. As the room size, shape, and table are determined, the location and quantity of the ceiling-mounted booms should also be considered. Most operating room lighting uses LED technology with less heat but brighter and whiter light, most with adjustable arms.
Other supportive equipment placement to consider include anesthesia machines, monitors, outlets, information technology and high-definition cameras.
Control and Minimize Infections
The operating room mechanical system is one of the most important elements to consider. In order to minimize the risk of infection, operating rooms are often supported by a high air change rate than required and a built-to-meet airborne pathogen-free environment requirement.
In some cases, a structural truss and plenum system are used to maximize mechanical space above the operating room table. In other cases, a modular stainless steel panel is mounted into the wall and ceiling finishes to lower infection sources with a nonporous surface that resists bacteria and germ growth.
Invest in Advanced Technology
Beyond the basics, operating rooms may also include advanced equipment such as imaging tools, patient information technologies or virtual surgical navigation systems. In hybrid operation rooms, diagnostic imaging equipment such as an MRI may also be installed.
No matter how sophisticated an operation room is, it cannot function on its own. It must be supported by a clean core, central sterile and storage and support spaces. How this is implemented may vary.
For example, adding a sterile equipment setup room between operating rooms with the same ventilation system helps reduce prep and turn-around time. Another example is a pass-through window between operating rooms, which helps reduce movement between spaces and unnecessary risks of infection.
These innovations aren’t necessarily obvious at first, but it does reflect the latest trends in design efficiency for operating rooms of the future.
As the development of medical technology continues to accelerate, the surgical environment and best practices will change, as well. In a decade, who knows what the future operating room will look like? What we do know is this: it will not be a simple space anymore. Innovation is taking hold of how surgery rooms operate and function.
The messages conveyed in a waiting room can be subtle or direct. Everything from the arrangement of seating to the type and intensity of color and light contrast has an impact on a patient’s mood and well-being. In a waiting room, fostering a calm, relaxed environment is vital.
Choose the Right Furniture
The most important part of your waiting room décor is the furniture. Not only is it the first thing your guests will see, it determines how comfortable they will feel in your space. Consider the styles, colors, and fabric choices that will help support a branded look.
Measuring is important in selecting the furniture (including seating). Design your space to look professional and attractive while comfortably accommodating your visitors. To decide how much furniture you will need, consider how many waiting room chairs would be used by your guests on the busiest day. Then select your chairs based on comfort, style and practicality. Once this is done, fill the space with tables.
Finally, when deciding on all of your furniture, your budget will be one of the biggest factors to consider. Make sure to leave an adequate lead time if you are planning to have your waiting room area done for a particular date.
Choose Colors and Tones Carefully
When designing the waiting you room, you should aim for calming and soothing colors such as green or blue with a touch of pink for compassion. While choosing colors, don’t forget to consider the colors of your practice. Channel the energy of your medical practice into the room and align it with your vision.
Finish with a Touch of Décor
Once you have decided on your furniture and colors, you will want to pick out some décor items that will help set the mood in your waiting room. Select things that people will remember and keep your clientele in mind. Tasteful art pieces or frame work, an aquarium full of exotic fish or a relaxing water feature adds visual interest and it can help relax your patients before their appointments. The waiting room is also the perfect place to display information about your practice, as well as related magazines and books to help your visitors pass the time.
Set the Mood with Lighting
Just as the décor sets the ambience, so does the lighting. Adjusting the lighting in your waiting room can promote a relaxed mood. Soft, bright lights create a calming sensation that appeals to the patients. Low, warm light, on the other hand, creates a “homey” environment. Artificial lighting (i.e. fluorescent bulbs), however, can come off as harsh. Natural lighting can visually create a larger space.
Your guests may arrive early or be kept waiting. As they wait, you may want to consider making outlets accessible so they can charge their electronic devices for work and leisure. Free Wi-Fi is also a great amenity to offer. Enabling a digital display or flat screen TV displaying information about the business or visual tour is also a great way to pass the time.
For further advice and help on setting up your medical office, as well as finding the right property for your needs, give us a call.