When deciding how many exam rooms your medical office needs, consider the types of visits you typically have and both the number and types of procedures your practice performs. An inadequate amount of space can result in inefficient patient flow and less-than-optimal productivity. Too many rooms will result in wasted overhead.
A rule of thumb for the size of a practice facility is 1200 to 1500 square feet for the first physician and 1000 to 1200 square feet for each additional physician, up to 4 or 5 in total. Some professional suites, such as those for psychiatrists, have less need for space while other practices may require additional space for equipment, such as imaging equipment.
The typical family physician requires three exam rooms and one procedure room, but this can vary in multi-physician or multispecialty practices. To help you get started, here are 4 factors to consider.
One of the key factors affecting doctors when deciding on medical office space is affordability. Depending on your financial situation, you may choose to be frugal when it comes to your practice space. As your practice grows, you can consider additional space as needed or relocate.
The space should include (but is not limited to):
- Two treatment rooms
- Front office
- Doctor’s space
- Reception area
Consider space needed and location when considering affordability. A long term lease for 30,000 square feet in a new development project can sign at $17 per-square foot. All the same, another medical space closer to a major hospital can sign at $25 per-square foot. If affordability and cost efficiency is a factor for space, you can save leasing costs by choosing a location down the street at a lower rate.
2. Operational Needs
The size of your medical office should be determined based on the types of operations that will be performed, number of administrative and medical surgical staff, number of patient visits, and size of frequently used diagnostic and medical equipment.
Having the right sized medical office is one of the most fundamental requirements for any practice. They should be large enough for efficient traffic flow, equipment setup, and administrative and operational activities. It should also provide sufficient space for circulation so that staff doesn’t interfere with ongoing examinations.
Bigger, however, is not always better. Unused space in the room tends to attract unnecessary supply and storage items. Blueprints of medical office setups in different sizes help determine the suitability and efficiency. Below are a few floor plans to consider:
- 720 square feet Floor Plan
- 800 square feet Floor Plan
- 900 square feet Floor Plan, type 1
- 900 square feet Floor Plan, type 2
- 1,200 square feet Floor Plan
3. Traffic Flow & Accessibility
Productivity is enhanced with every step you save. An effective office layout is designed with a circular traffic flow that leads from the waiting room, through reception to exam rooms, and back out the reception. This promotes fluidity; less congestion; and a linear, logical flow. Be sure to design the office space considering foot traffic flow. Your patients are more likely to have a seamless end-to-end experience during their stay and not wander off to restricted areas.
Medical records and consultations need to be kept confidential at all times. To respect the privacy of your patients, office and storage space should be out of all patients’ views. Administrative staff needs to store all private patient information, diagnoses, billing, treatments or medications in filing cabinets/storage that can be secured under lock and key or via a combination lock.
Doctors and technicians must have separate, additional rooms for testing so patients have privacy when services, especially sensitive examinations, are administered. Medications, mobile equipment, bandages, medical supplies, and cleaning agents should be kept in storage closets and out of sight. Ensure that everything has its place, sensitive information is kept secure and away from prying eyes, and that all necessary items can be accessed when absolutely required by permitted individuals.
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Considering space for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your office layout and calculating the space required, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.