Office Layout Ideas to Update Your Office for the New Year

Hiding the Wires

Nothing adds clutter more than wires between laptops and docking stations. Eliminating wires increases open space and organization within the workplace, especially in a room full of open desks. Manufacturers have developed solutions that are clean and simple to address this new trend.

Bringing the Outdoors In

Nature is having a serious moment in design. Reclaimed wood panel installations, exposed concrete flooring and incorporating natural floral patterns in fabrics and artwork are all becoming more prominent, along with plant life in the form of living walls. Mother Nature is strategically and deeply integrated with salvaged wood, water features, outdoor office extensions to demonstrate real, measurable benefits for human performance metrics such as productivity, emotional well-being, stress reduction, and learning. It’s the natural, healing properties that a lot of these finishes and details have that will continue to make this trend increasingly popular throughout the year.

Multipurpose Workplaces

Multipurpose spaces can be utilized for everything from multimedia presentations to casual break areas and are among the most effective office layout ideas. We will also see more oval-shaped office desks, which allow for a more convenient place for 4-6 people to meet, as well as a shift toward height adjustable tables for standing meetings or workstations.

Designated Lounge Areas

A move toward creating spaces that are the antithesis of rigid workstations are on the rise for office design trends in 2017. Lighter, powerful, wireless technology has inspired more comfort and relaxed collaboration. Offices now mandate the inclusion of dedicated lounge areas to make working more enjoyable.

Offices Organized by Color

Work environment with color helps boost your thoughts along with being more organized and colorful. Color promotes happiness, productivity, and creativity. Offices are integrating pops of color in unexpected ways and therefore striving to be at the forefront of offering a wide color spectrum of accessories and furniture.

Community Tables

People are looking for more interaction at work — lending a trend towards community tables. For centuries, the community table has been a meaningful symbol of kinship or alliance that is now becoming an important part of the work environment. It fosters and exhibits many of the characteristics of a domicile, more relaxed, more congenial and collaborative work place.

A Mix of Different Textures

An increased emphasis on using varied materials throughout the workplace to create environments that influence wellness and productivity is on the rise. Products with a rich material bring original and bold aesthetics with contrasting color and textures to create a more varied, inspiring and personalized work environment.

Mobile Offices

Mobility that lets workers drop in at the office as they please and mobility that lets workers move easily within the office itself are gaining importance in corporate design.

New Seating Options

Company meetings are ever-changing and challenging dynamics with new seating options. Imagine how different the conversations would go in a company meeting with one area of round, low seating. The challenge is to create a fresh and alive space at every turn while offering sanctuaries and think spaces away from one’s desk. More than ever, offices must inspire and invite employees to do their best by offering furniture that meets different work modes. You can look at the use of a large sofa or a smaller hobbit hole space such as enclaves with padded benches for lunch or telecommuters.

Schedule a Consultation

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 move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

The Best Layouts for Your Office Waiting Room

Physician appointments are commonly associated with discomfort and pain. Patients don’t like going to physicians in loom of discomforting news. To keep the fear at bay, physicians across practices have invested time in designing the heart of their medical practice: the waiting room.

The waiting room is the opening statement to a medical office. Patients often form their first impression of a medical practice in the waiting room or reception area. Stained furniture, old torn magazines, or a rude front-office receptionist can wreak havoc on how patients perceive the quality of their care.

The messages conveyed by a waiting can be subtle or direct. Everything from the arrangement of seating to the type and intensity of color and light has an impact on a patient’s mood and well-being. These simple office waiting room ideas can drastically improve the mood of your entire business.

Choose Colors and Tones Carefully

Because one of your main goals is to relieve patients’ feelings of tension or fear, lean towards colors that soothe, rather than those that excite. Create the ambiance of the space using color tones and contrasting textures. This could be in the furniture you choose as well as the colors of your walls and fixtures. If you are designing the waiting room, you may want to consider calming and soothing colors such as green or blue with a touch of pink for compassion. Blue illustrates honesty, loyalty and security while green is calming and soothing. Refrain from using yellow and red as they may cause anxiety and aggression.

Set the Mood with Lighting

Just as the décor sets the ambiance, 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. Out of all the office waiting room ideas for improvement, lighting is the most effective.

Pay Attention to Traffic Flow

Your waiting room space and design is the forefront of your medical office or clinic. To design a welcoming space, consider where your guests will be entering and exiting from, and make sure these areas coincide with the waiting room. Make sure décor and furniture design layout corresponds with the traffic flow. There is nothing worse than showing up for an appointment and having no idea where to go. The design of your waiting room should make sure the foot traffic flow is clearly marked.

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.

Measurements are key 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 waiting room chairs based on comfort, style and practicality. Once this is done, fill the space with tables — keeping in mind the traffic flow.

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 business and related magazines and books to help your visitors pass the time.

Schedule a Consultation

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 move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

Making Your Medical Office Wheelchair Accessible

Patients with mobility impairments often face challenges in visiting their medical office due to the physical barriers within medical buildings and offices, including the lack of ramps, grab bars, height-adjustable examination and imaging tables, and inadequate space within which to maneuver a wheelchair or to transfer to an examination table.

Waiting Room and Reception Room

Wheelchair accessible space should be available for wheelchair users to park while waiting for appointments at their medical office. Consider installing firm chairs with armrests to help those who have difficulty with switching from sitting to standing positions. Reception windows should be height appropriate for wheelchair users (approximately 34 to 40 inches from the ground) and incorporate a counter surface that allows wheelchair users to complete required forms.

Washroom

Your medical office should include accessible washrooms and appropriate signs to indicate their location. Accessible washroom facilities need sufficient space for turning and transferring, grab bars, and emergency call bells. Sinks, mirrors, soap, and paper towel dispensers should all be at a wheelchair-accessible height.

Wheelchair Accessible Examination Room

Accessible examination rooms have features that enable patients with mobility disabilities to receive appropriate medical care. These features allow the patient to enter the examination room, move around in the room, and utilize the accessible equipment provided. The features that make this possible include:

  • An accessible route to and through the room
  • An entry door with adequate clear width, maneuvering clearance, and accessible hardware
  • Appropriate models and placement of accessible examination equipment
  • Adequate clear floor space inside the room for side transfers and lift equipment

All examination rooms must meet requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Accessible examination rooms may need additional floor space to accommodate transfers for certain equipment.

The number of examination rooms with accessible equipment largely depends on the size of the practice, the patient population, along with other factors.

Entry Doors

Under the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, an accessible doorway must have a minimum clear opening width of 32 inches when the door is opened to 90 degrees. Maneuvering clearances on either side of the door also must comply with the ADA Standards. The door hardware must not require tight twisting, pinching or grasping in order to use it. The hallway outside of the door and the space inside the door should be kept free of boxes, chairs or equipment so that they do not interfere with the maneuvering clearance or accessible route.

Clear Floor and Turning Space Inside Exam Room

In order for accessible equipment to be usable by an individual who uses a wheelchair or other mobility device, a clear pathway must be available for patient access. The exam table must have sufficient clear floor space next to it so that an individual using a wheelchair can approach the side of the table for transfer onto it. The minimum amount of space required is 30 inches by 48 inches. Clear floor space is needed along at least one side of an adjustable height examination table.

The room should also have enough turning space for an individual using a wheelchair to make a 180-degree turn, using a clear space of 60 inches in diameter or a 60-inch by 60-inch T-shaped space. Moveable chairs and other objects should be moved aside if necessary to provide additional space.

Accessible Medical Equipment

Availability of accessible medical equipment is an important part of providing accessible medical care. Accessible medical equipment includes:

  • Adjustable-height exam tables and chairs
  • Wheelchair-accessible scales
  • Adjustable-height radiologic equipment
  • Portable floor and overhead track lifts
  • Gurneys and stretchers.

The right solution for accessible medical care depends on existing equipment and space available for the examination room and storage of equipment, the size of the practice and staff, and the patient population. What is important is that an individual with a disability receives medical services equal to those received by a person without a disability.

For example, if a patient must lie down to be thoroughly examined, then a person with a disability must also be examined lying down This examination which requires specialized positioning must be accessible. To provide accessibility, the provider may need an adjustable height exam table. However, if the examination or procedure does not require that a person lie down, then using an exam table is not necessarily important to the quality of the medical care and the patient may remain seated.

References

https://www.ada.gov/medcare_mobility_ta/medcare_ta.htm

Healing Art: How Artwork Stimulates and Helps Patients

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy utilizes art media, the creative process and the production of art to explore and open feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve mental health, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

The purpose of art therapy is to improve or restore a patient’s functions and his or her sense of personal well-being. Art therapy requires knowledge of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological and counseling theories and techniques.

Today art therapy is widely practiced in hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, schools, private practice, and other clinical and community settings.

Who Can Use Art Therapy?

Art therapy helps release bottled up emotions while giving new understanding and perspective to patients. For people living with cancer, art therapy offers a way of communicating and exploring difficult thoughts and feelings. It can stimulate positive feelings as well as shared experiences.

Art therapy may be helpful for people who feel uncomfortable with touch or talk therapies. It can also be helpful in supporting families and friends affected by the patient’s illness.  Although there is limited scientific evidence, many health professional utilize art therapy to:

  • Improve mental health by encouraging patients to express their emotions and help improve their relationships with other people.
  • Help patients adjust to a changing body image.
  • Encourage patients to be creative and self-confident
  • Help to control anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
  • Help take the patient’s mind off pain or discomfort

Art therapy is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, wellness, private practice and healthcare facilities. Art therapy is an effective treatment for patients who experience developmental, medical, educational and social or psychological impairment. Individuals who benefit from art therapy include patients of trauma, combat, adverse physical health conditions, and other health disabilities. Art therapy programs help patients resolve conflicts, improve interpersonal skills, manage problematic behaviors, reduce stress, and achieve personal insight.

Art therapy can benefit both children and adults. Even if you’re using creative arts as a means of expression without the aid of an art therapist, there are still many benefits to be had.

What Art Therapy Involves

While art therapy requires an art therapist, you can still achieve the benefits from art therapy without experience. Art therapy programs can take many forms, including:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture, collage, or 3-D work
  • iPads, smartphones and digital cameras

If an art therapist is required, he or she will ask several questions about the patient during the first visit. By understanding the patient’s particular needs, problems, and expectations, the therapist aid can help design a plan of therapy that is most effective for the patient.

Art therapy can take place in individual or group sessions. These can last up to 60 minutes for individual sessions or longer for groups. Depending on the setting, art therapy programs can take place regularly for a fixed number of weeks or months.

Art therapy doesn’t teach patients to draw or paint. Art therapist aid will encourage patients to use art to explore their feelings and develop their own confidence and self-awareness. With the support of professionally trained art therapists, art therapy is usually a very positive process in patient treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

Artwork designed or integrated in your medical practice can stimulate and help patients. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of moving, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you and your medical practice to success.

References

http://www.arttherapy.org/upload/whatisarttherapy.pdf?utm_content=buffere6b8a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative/therapies/art-therapy#what

How to Identify and Manage Difficult Patients

Angry, defensive, frightened, or difficult patients. When you see signs of clenched fists, furrowed brows, wringing of the hands, and/or restricted breathing patterns, try to uncover the source of difficulty for the patient. Don’t get drawn into a conflict. Instead, identify the cause, recognize when the triggers are invoked, and respond to the situation patiently.

For example, a patient who is in pain and has been waiting for an hour because the physician is tending to an emergency may be quite impatient and angry in the waiting room. He or she may respond with, “My time is as valuable as yours. I don’t understand why I had to wait for so long.” Responding with a sincere apology can be more constructive than having your own meltdown.

If the patient is scared about a diagnosis or treatment, encourage the patient to talk about it. This may help to establish a context for the fear, allowing the patient to deal with it more constructively.

If at any point, however, an encounter with difficult patients yields potential harm to you or your staff, ask for assistance from security and law enforcement.

Manipulative Patients

Patients who play on the guilt of others, threatening rage, legal action or suicide often exhibits impulsive behavior directed at obtaining what they want. The key to managing encounters with manipulative patients is to be aware of your own emotions, attempt to understand the patient’s expectations (which may sometimes be reasonable despite their actions), and realize that sometimes you must say “no.”

Patients and Somatization

These patients experience a chronic course of multiple vague or exaggerated symptoms and often suffer from anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. Essentially, somatization is when a patient associates a psychiatric condition with a physical condition. So if they’re suffering from anxiety but aren’t aware of it, they may believe they’re suffering from a physical issue such as bodily shakes or heart issues (such as the comparable symptoms of a heart attack vs. an anxiety attack).

The key to manage encounters with patients who mistake potential psychiatric conditions with somatic symptoms is to describe the patient’s diagnosis with compassion, and to emphasize that regularly scheduled visits with a primary physician will help reduce any concerns.

Grieving Patients

Familiarity with the normal stages of grief and the cultural context in which it occurs is key to managing communication with grieving patients. Look for signs of depression and maladaptive behaviors that prevent progression through the normal grieving process, and treat them. Help grieving patients by validating their emotional experience and making sure they understand that grief is a process. Encourage open communication, avoid inappropriate medication to suppress emotions, and advise against major lifestyle changes in the early stages.

External Factors to Consider

Physicians own attitudes and behaviors, as well as situational factors, may also contribute to difficult encounters with patients.

  • Angry or defensive physicians are more likely to react negatively to patients. Recognizing your own trigger issues and knowing what personal baggage you bring into the exam room can be valuable.
  • Fatigued physicians are often overworked, sleep deprived, and/or generally busier than needed to be at one time or another. It is important that you remain sensitive to the impact of physician fatigue on medical errors and patient safety.
  • Language and literacy issues are increasingly an issue among a more diverse population. Try to allow for extra time for these encounters. Whenever possible, work with a trained interpreter to minimize miscommunication.
  • Breaking bad news. When it is necessary to give patients information that will be difficult for them to digest, preparation is critical. Allow adequate time and privacy, and review the clinical situation. Assess what the patient already understands or believes about the situation and how much more information he or she wants. Disclose the news directly, allowing adequate response time for the patient and others in the room to process the information. After giving the news, offer additional resources, agree on next steps, and summarize the discussion and arrange for follow-up.

Further Reading

http://www.aafp.org/fpm/2007/0600/p30.html

New Year Resolutions for Bettering Your Practice

As 2016 rapidly comes to a close, many people are preparing their New Year resolutions. For the next month or so, gym memberships are going to be at an all time high as folks “turn over a new leaf in the New Year.”

Best of luck to all those who are partaking in this annual tradition, but what about medical practices that want to kickstart the New Year by bringing in new patients and increasing productivity? Well, for medical practices, there are a few key things you can do to make sure you have a more successful 2017.

Increasing Patient Engagement

One of the most important things for medical practices is getting patients to take an active role in their healthcare. Building a relationship with your patients is the best way to do that. Building such a relationship builds trust, and that trust leads to a much better level of patient care. This, of course, raises the question: How do we increase patient engagement?

Many physicians are finding that increasing patient interaction outside of the office is one of the best ways to get that all important engagement. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and even Instagram and Snapchat, can provide medical practices with the opportunity to interact with their patients outside of an office environment.

These interactions are a key method of building a rapport with your patients, and can separate your practice from others that are less available and visible to potential patients.

Implement Anonymous Surveys to Identify Problem Areas

If your patients have a problem, in a lot of cases you won’t hear about it until it’s too late. Implementing a brief, anonymous survey can help you get ahead of problems that could otherwise drive patients away. Often, patients won’t open up about issues like this: they’ll simply find a new practice if they think there’s a problem with their care.

A quick, anonymous survey as part of an office visit can help provide you with solid information on the general impressions your patients have. If they think wait times are too long, or they aren’t receiving enough physician attention, you can use metrics gained from these surveys to make changes that can help you address issues before they cause you to lose patients.

Of course, you can also use these metrics to see if a patient’s complaints stem from a problem you have in the office, or if you just have a problem patient. Either way, it’s nice to know for sure.

Improve Your Online Presence

This goes hand in hand with increasing customer engagement. Improving your online presence makes you more visible and more accessible to your patients, but it also lends an air of professionalism to your practice. These days, the first interaction your practice is likely to have with a potential new patient is going to be your website. This makes a good search ranking and SEO incredibly important, as it ensures you will be a potential client’s first choice, instead of their 50th.

Of course, ensuring that your potential patients can find you is only half the battle. The other half is keeping your customers on your site long enough to decide to make an appointment. If you have an older, outdated site, or just a poorly optimized one that takes an age to load, chances are it doesn’t matter what your search ranking looks like. It’s important to update your site every few years, both for your search potential, and to make sure you’re keeping up with the times and maintaining a professional online presence.

There are also more tangible benefits to a modern website. With an updated web presence, you can schedule appointments and communicate with customers with ease. In some cases, depending on your practice, you can even set up remote video conference office visits.

Virtual visits and consultations can free up time to see more patients, and cuts down on overhead. Granted, not every office visit can be replaced with a video call, nor should it, but replacing the less critical visits with video consults can leave more time for more serious issues.

Changing Office Space With Boulevard

If your practice is feeling cramped, or maybe you feel like downsizing, changing your physical location can be a godsend. Then again, maybe you’re looking to open a second office, or a third, or a 10th. Whatever your reason, if you need to get into a new medical office space, Boulevard Medical Properties is here. We can help get you into a new space that meets your needs, and it will be the perfect way to step into the New Year.

5 Things to Do When Closing Over Christmas

Each medical office will observe Christmas differently based upon the patient demographic, the preferences of the practice owner, and the needs of the employees. As an office policy for mandatory holidays and days that will not be observed as holidays is created, a copy should be shared with all team members as they are hired. If special exclusions are needed due to religious holidays, then team members will need to manage this with the practice owners individually.

Holiday pay will vary depending on each category of employee (salaried, full-time hourly, part time hourly, and temporary). The office policy should clearly outline how each staff will be compensated if they work on a holiday.

It is also important to state what happens when observed holidays fall on a non-work day. These holidays can be observed by closing the office the day before or the day after the holiday. The holiday can also go without a day of observance — it depends on personal preference.

The office policy should also address how time off request will be remunerated, how many employees can be off at the same time, and if too many employees want the time off, how you will determine which time off requests are approved.

In summary, the 5 elements of such a policy for Christmas and other holidays should include:

  1. Mandatory and observed holidays based upon patient makeup, the preferences of the owner(s), and the composition of employees.
  2. A statement describing the rationale for holidays chosen, especially religious holidays. (It is not required to observe special days of every religion, but it is important to address the accommodation, if any, that can be made for a practitioner of a religion whose holidays the office does not observe.
  3. Holiday pay for each category of employee should be addressed. This should include how staff will be compensated if they work on a holiday (i.e. double time, triple time, and time off on another day are all options to consider).
  4. Observed holidays that fall on non-work days. These holidays can be observed by closing the office the day before or the day after the holiday. From some holidays, it may make sense to close the office at noon the day before.
  5. Additional time off around a holiday. Your policy should address how that time will be charged, how many employees can be off at the same time, and how you will determine which time off requests are approved if multiple employees want the time off.

Communicate Christmas Closures to Patients

Once the team and office policy on the holiday closure dates and process is outlined, it is very important to communicate what and when the holiday closures are to all patients.

Medical Practice Holiday Closure notices should be sent out at least a month in advance, and appointments should be confirmed and not scheduled on those dates. You can send them via email, posted mail, social media, and the practice website. Also consider signage in the practice reception area so that visiting patients can see it.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering the space and operations for your medical practice can be challenging, with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations and accessibility law requirements. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.


Additional reading/resources:

What’s Needed When Moving Medical Properties

Every business – small or large – wants to operate in the most cost-effective manner, even during a relocation or move. It is an exciting prospect, however, the actual move can be very stressful. In fact, most people involved in the process of moving medical properties 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 practices.

5 Musts with Moving Medical Properties

Moving your medical practice to a different office location involves managing plenty of small tasks as part of the move. Here are a five key items you need to move to the top of your list.

1. Notify Payers

Notify your payers and third party vendors (Medicare, Medicaid, In Network Providers, etc.) of your new address and billing information. Notify each well in advance to prevent any loss of timely payments. Add your providers of services (payroll service, billing service, medical waste disposal, maintenance, etc.) to the list.

2. Tell Your Patients

You are required to inform patients where to find your new practice and their charts. The notification can take the form of a letter, newspaper announcement, or phone call. Placing a sign in your office 30 days in advance is also recommended so that you can keep your patients aware of your relocation. Some states also require one or more ways of notifying your patients. It is advised to research what your state guidelines for relocating your practice should be.

3. Market Your Move

After you have notified your patients, you want to make sure your new office move is going to attract new patients. If you are in primary care, for example, you may want to consider creating an announcement to your patients you have seen over the past couple years or list your new business in local newspapers and sites.

Be sure to also include a map of your new location and an explanation of why you are relocating. If you depend on referrals, target your referral base to increase patient volume at the new location. Offering your expertise to the local newspaper or media outlet as a guest contributor on a healthcare topic can also benefit your practice and move.

4. Credentialing

If you are moving to a new location, consider if you will need to be credentialed with a new hospital. If so, you need to determine who is going to help with the credentialing process.

5. Select Vendors Carefully

Professional movers experienced in moving a medical practice are required for moving a medical facility and transporting medical equipment. They should have technicians with expertise in disassembling sensitive equipment as needed, packing it, and safely moving without damage. After the move, the technicians should be able to test and re-commission equipment, making it ready for use in the new location.

In addition to expertise in relocating medical and lab equipment, your movers should be experts at moving exam tables, office furniture, filing systems, workstations, and IT equipment. They should also understand your need to minimize downtime to avoid loss of billable patient hours, and be willing to work with you in completing the break down, move, and setup of the project on schedule.

Vendors are essential to office relocation. Select vendors carefully. Office moves and relocation difficulties often occur when companies simply select vendors out of the whim. Thoroughly vet through service providers for a successful office relocation. Every onboarding vendor should be familiar with the best practices for an office move. Look for vendors that have been endorsed by a trusted third party.

Because your move represents a more complicated prospect than the average business move, use these tips to choose the right moving service:

  • Interview movers before you hire them. Ask about their methods, experience and skills
  • Look for medical moving experience. You need movers who know how to move fragile equipment such as an x-ray machine or IT equipment with sensitive information.
  • Ask for references. Try to get references from other physicians.

Schedule a Consultation

Moving medical properties can be a positive experience for you and your patients, provided you take the necessary steps to ensure all processes are executed smoothly. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

References/Further Reading

Medical Practice Lighting: The Best Options

Health and medical professionals strive, every day, to cure ailments and relieve patient symptoms. But success in these areas often depends on environmental elements within the medical practice. Improving medical practice lighting in both color and tone can ease patient anxiety and boost productivity and mood among medical personnel and patients.

How Light Impacts Human Health and Performance

Most medical practices, as well as other healthcare settings, are lit by a combination of natural lighting through windows and skylights, and electric-light sources. It is important to understand how these two types of light sources impact human health and performance. Here are four main mechanisms influenced by lighting:

1. Enables performance of visual tasks

The work environment for nurses and physicians in hospitals is stressful. They are required to perform a range of complex tasks — filling prescriptions, administering medication, and performing other critical patient-care tasks. Inadequate lighting and chaotic environment are likely to compound the burden of stress and lead to errors.

2. Controls the body’s circadian system

When light falls on the retina, it transmits to the hypothalamus controlling the body’s circadian rhythm. If the internal rhythms do not match the workday rhythms, healthcare workers or staff can feel drowsy, tired, and distracted. To help improve productivity and uplift moods in medical personnel and patients, increase the exposure to daylight — preferably through windows and natural lighting.

Exposure to daylight can assist in the following:

  • Reduces depression among patients with seasonal affective disorder and bipolar depression
  • Decreases length of stay in hospitals
  • Improves sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Lessens agitation among dementia patients, eases pain
  • Improves adjustment to night-shift work among staff

3. Affects mood and perception

Different lighting conditions affect people’s moods and behaviors at work. However, mood changes do not remain the same across different people with the same lighting conditions. Rather, an individual’s discomfort, preferences, expectations, and gender impact how mood changes.

Overall, daylight is preferred to artificial lighting and proximity to windows is preferred for several reasons: psychological comfort, office appearance and environment, general health, visual health, work performance, and jobs requiring fine observation. Greater sunlight also improves overall satisfaction.

4. Facilitates direct absorption for critical chemical reactions within the body

Light radiation is absorbed directly by the body through the skin and stimulates chemical reactions in the blood and other tissues. As a result, it helps support vitamin D metabolism and prevents jaundice.

Set the Tone and Environment with Lighting

The lighting mechanics and color palette can set the tone for a healthcare facility, whether it’s the product of renovation, interior design or a new-build project.

Types of Lighting Sources

  • Use energy-efficient natural light where good color rendering and bright, changing visual environments are desirable.
  • Incorporate natural light into lighting design wherever possible in healthcare settings.
  • Provide windows for access to natural daylight in patient rooms, along with provisions for controlling glare and temperature.
  • Orient patient rooms to maximize early-morning sun exposure.
  • Assess adequacy of lighting levels in staff work areas.
  • Provide high lighting levels for complex visual tasks.

Schedule a Consultation

When it comes to medical practice lighting and other patient and productivity-focused design choices, we can help. With a strong history in helping medical professionals secure and set up their medical practices, Boulevard Medical Properties can help you, too. Contact us today.

References and Further Reading

3 Important Steps to Keeping Your Practice Profitable

Running a successful practice in today’s ever-competitive environment can be challenging for even the most qualified professionals in the medical field. From constant technological advances to complex changes in healthcare laws, it seems that healthcare professionals need to be more vigilant than even to become and remain profitable. In order to attract and retain patients while expanding your practice, here are 3 tips to get you started.

1. Focus on the Front Desk

A successful practice starts with patient satisfaction — both in terms of creating a positive first impression when a patient first checks in, and building a strong online reputation. The person at the front desk is the face of the practice. He or she can make a life-long patient or a one-time patient based upon how they meet and greet. Here are three ways to strengthen your focus on the front desk.

Evaluate Personnel. The front desk personnel should welcome patients in a family-friendly manner and have the skills to simultaneously handle insurance verification and accept co-payments in an organized way. Invest time in finding personnel who combine soft skills and deftness in multitasking.

Streamline Intake Before Patients Arrive. Customer satisfaction starts at registration and the waiting room. The less time patients spend in your waiting room, the happier they are likely to be with their visit. To make sure their appointment stays on schedule, ask them to download and compile intake forms or use a secure system where they can submit the information online to save time. Many practices risk hurting patient satisfaction because they don’t organize their schedules properly.

Strong Financial Controls in Place. Reconciling the co-payments with what gets deposited in the bank regularly helps you stay on track and identify discrepancies. This process instills a strong financial control in place and can identify monetary loss and theft early on.

2. Connect & Engage on Social Media

Even if you have no time to tweet your latest medical insights, it’s important to pay attention to what patients are saying about you on review sites such as Healthgrades, Yelp, and Yodle. With today’s advancements in medical technology and media, the relationship with the patient doesn’t end with the procedure or with checkout. Connecting and engaging with your patients on social media continues to foster patient satisfaction and understanding of their experience. It’s less about the doctor and more about the experience.

To help you get started, here are two ways to master social media:

Designate a point person. Medical practitioners need to build a “brand” that is known in the community. You can achieve this in a variety of ways, from blogging to interacting with your patients on social media, and doing radio and TV interviews. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone to assist you — be it one of your staff or an outside agency.

Ask for reviews. Asking your patients to post a review on a social site is not awkward. Framing the value proposition carefully can make it easier. To facilitate this process, many medical practices print cards to have their team hand out to patients. They might invite their patients to share an unbiased review of their experience. Their honest opinions may not be perfect, but perfection may raise questions. Encouraging your patients to share their experience will also help you identify areas of improvement.

3. Fine-Tune Operations

Narrowing your focus to just one or two key projects to improve the bottom line of your practice for the year ahead can mean the difference between thriving and teetering on the brink of joining a hospital staff. Maintaining your overhead within a reasonable level and sustaining revenue is the key to running an independent practice. Here are 3 ways to help fine-tune operations:

Re-negotiate contracts with insurance companies. Even the slightest improvement in reimbursement annually can make a difference in the long haul.

Re-connect with dormant patients. Mailings to remind patients you haven’t seen in a while to come in for a checkup helps to keep in touch and communicate with patients. That’s where future revenue lies.

Re-evaluate recurring costs. Billing, invoicing, and customer relationship management software fees can add up quickly, so make sure you are identifying the latest cloud-based technologies to reduce your overall costs.

Schedule a Consultation

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 move, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

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