Patient Comfort in LA: Ideas for Your Medical Practice

Health and medical professionals strive, every day, to cure ailments and relieve patient symptoms. But success in these areas often depend on factors beyond our control. On the other hand, improving patient comfort measures is always within your power — as a doctor or physician, nurse, and/or medical staff.

There are plenty of methods to ensure patient comfort without sacrificing time or resources. We have compiled some of the best steps to consider while assessing your medical practice and patient satisfaction.

What is the Value in Patient Comfort?

Patient-centered care is holistic. Everyone has a role in the patient journey: from the arrivals parking attendant to the clinical staff and physician, including environmental services and the receptionist. Successful medical offices and hospitals provide an exceptional patient experience. Organizations, which foster a culture that focuses on patients, are rewarded with higher clinical quality and efficiency, a greater employee engagement, a safer patient environment, and improved bottom line.

Patient care experience includes respect, partnership, shared decision making, well-coordinated transitions, and efficiency. For organizations seeking to make their care more patient-centered, our best practices offer concrete tools and a road map for integration of new practices into existing processes.

How to Adopt Patient Comfort into Your Daily Process

Adding steps to your organization’s day-to-day processes can be a transition. However, if your plan is properly implemented, it can quickly become a part of your institution’s culture. Here are a few ways to improve patient comfort into your daily processes.

Strive to Build Authentic Relationships

The relationship between healthcare professionals and their patients is psychological. While it is your job to ask patients personal questions about their life, habits and condition, it is imperative to establish common ground and build a social relationship. For example, you may decide to share a recent family outing or chat about a favorite past time. Discussing these seemingly insignificant topics builds a connection with your patient. By breaking down — or at least, lowering — these psychological barriers, you can help better relieve a patient’s concerns or anxieties.

Remember Patient Comfort Can Be a Time Saver

Patient anxiety and discomfort can lead to disrupted care and results. These challenging circumstances can quickly eat away at your schedule and reduce the amount of time available to dedicate to subsequent patients. However, securing patient comfort can save time.

For example, a relaxed environment will help reduce the chances of patient anxiety during procedures. Taking a moment to talk with your patient or ask about his or her comfort preferences can ensure a better experience for everyone involved.

Set the Tone and Environment in Color

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.

Blue represents honesty, loyalty, wisdom, dependability, and security. It is considered calming, relaxing and serene, and it is often recommended for medical offices to help calm patients and encourage a healing environment. A light blue can balance well with warm hues for furnishings and fabrics. To encourage relaxation in waiting or exam areas, consider warmer blues. Softer blues are known to have a calming effect when used as the main color of a room. Darker blues, however, may evoke 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 to peace, harmony, and support. It encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and relaxation.

Yellow is commonly associated with laughter, happiness, and joy. It has energizing properties, but be careful with it; when using an intense yellow, it can cause unease. Use yellow sparingly in just the right places to add contrast and visual interest, but refrain from using it as your main color. In large amounts, yellow has been reported to create feelings of frustration and anger.

Pink is 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, and can help alleviate feelings of anger and aggression.

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Whether you are planning to elicit a safer patient environment or increase clinical quality and efficiency in LA, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you. Contact us today.

Sudden Property Closure: 5 Things You Need to Do

Sudden deaths or incapacity raises immediate problems in the areas of clinical coverage, administrative responsibilities, and medical records. In the event of a sudden property closure due to such emergencies, an action plan should be developed in advance. This article provides relevant and practical information to assist with planning in the event of an emergency closure.

It should be noted that, though useful for medical practices that may be planning to close their office, this article does not cover planned closure, transfer or sale of a clinical practice. In addition, it should be advised that this is not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer with relevant expertise.

1. Clinical Environment

At the time of an emergency closing of a practice, a number of people and different parties will need to be notified. There are action steps that will need to be completed. Information concerning keys, passwords, security codes needed to access the practice’s records may need to be communicated to the designated administrator. This information should also be provided to the physician’s attorney. The attorney’s office, practice staff and the family of the physician should keep a record of the contact information for the administrator.

The agencies that will need to be notified from a clinical standpoint include staff, patients, hospitals/clinic affiliations, and third party vendors. Depending on the size and scope of the practice, and the individual physician’s roles and responsibilities in the practice, there could be numerous clinical associates and partners.

2. Physician Office Staff

It is imperative to notify the staff as soon as possible. They are the people who can assist the administrator immediately. At this time, practice staff will appreciate personal contact and condolences. Many will be concerned about their own employment and financial futures.

Be prepared to communicate and address the following questions that may arise: How long will the practice remain opened? What kind of benefit package/retirement benefit was agreed to at the time of hire? How will Sick Time and Vacation Time balances be paid out? Direct the questions about benefits and/or payment of benefits to payroll and/or legal counsel.

3. Patients and Patient Family

It is important to notify patients as soon as possible about the closing of the practice. First, at the time that the staff are notified, a new message on the practice answering machine should be recorded which states that the practice is currently closed and all sessions have been cancelled until further notice, and who the patient needs to contact for immediate assistance or prescription refills.

As soon as possible, ideally within 48 hours, the practice should send a letter to all the active patients. This letter should list physicians who have agreed to assist the physician’s patients in the interim. This letter should also explain to the patients how to obtain copies of their records. Send these letters by “Registered Mail” with a “Received Return Receipt.” This documentation can be placed in patient’s record.

Notify scheduled patients and cancel their appointments ASAP. Using the same method used to confirm sessions, the staff should contact the patients and let them know that all sessions have been cancelled until further notice. If the practice knows the time frame the letters are going to go out, the staff should let the patients know to expect the letter at that time.

It may also be a good idea to put a sign on the office door. It can state: “All patient visits have been cancelled until further notice; please call (office number) for further information.”

4. Third Party Vendors and Partners

It makes sense to have a list of Hospital/Agency Affiliations and their contact information readily available. This will make it easier to make the required notifications.

Third Party Payers need to be informed that the physician will no longer be practicing. It is important that the third party payers not accidentally refer new patients. The information will assist third party payers to track their availability of providers for the local area.

5. Regulatory Environment

You need to notify the state medical board(s) where your physicians are licensed. There are often penalties associated with not notifying these agencies in a timely manner. Locating the addresses and contact information in advance and maintaining the list with other material discussed will facilitate these steps at the time of the emergency.

For example, it is important to notify the state medical board(s) that the physician will no longer be treating patients. The information they will need includes: the date of licensure and the license number.

Schedule a Consultation

In the event of a sudden property closure due to sudden emergencies or deaths, this guide will get you started in planning ahead. Whether you are planning to close your practice or setting up an action plan, Boulevard Medical Properties can help you.

Medical Office Security: Best Practices

Medical office security is top of mind for every practice, no matter what size. There are many steps that can be taken to improve security, many of which require inexpensive outlays and measures. To find out what is best for your medical practice, it’s suggested you hire a security consultant to visit the premises and conduct a thorough security analysis. This review can identify weak spots and provide a clear action plan for upgrading security.

To help get you started, we have compiled a best practice guide for your office security. Avoid the pitfalls of keeping your property protected while away; our guide can give you the tips for planning and effectively working with your security consultant and team.

Where to Get Started

The best place to start when examining security is the physical layout of the premises itself, or the layout of the larger building of which your medical practice is a part of. Design should take in wide, open areas with clear sight lines, hallways and offices with no nooks or crannies where an intruder could hide in the shadows.

Keep areas within the property well lit; especially after hours when employees might be working alone or in small groups. Doors and windows are the most obvious access points to an office and should be secure. You should avoid double doors as they are easily hinged open. Entrance way doors, specifically those used for deliveries, should be steel to add security and aid in fire protection. Door hinges should face inward and use non-removable pins and screws. Combination locks on washrooms and other common areas are also an excellent option for added security.

Here are other suggestions to help increase security in your medical office:

  • Install key-card access systems at main and side entrances for staff.
  • Upgrade perimeter control systems with intercoms and closed circuit monitoring devices.
  • Keep master and extra keys locked in a security office.
  • Have a back up communication system, like two-way radio.
  • Arrange office space so suspect visitors can be easily noticed.
  • Have staff follow strict access control procedures.
  • Keep important and confidential documents locked in secure cabinets.
  • Keep office areas neat and orderly to identify strange objects.
  • Lock closets, service openings, telephone and electrical closets at all times.
  • Keep publicly accessible restroom doors locked and set up a key control system.

An Additional Security Tip to Implement

Aside from the general guidelines and tips (listed above), consider implementing this security measure:

Set Up Secure Areas in the Building. Consider maintaining one or more “secure rooms” on your premises. This area can serve as a retreat in case of intrusion or other danger. You should equip the room with:

  • First aid equipment
  • Phone and backup communication equipment
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Bomb blankets and hardened walls
  • Sand bags
  • Emergency tool kit
  • Extra food and clothing
  • Large flashlight and batteries

Get in Touch

In general, you need to ensure that medical office security is a measure to be installed in advance. Additional security steps ensure heightened safety when employees and staff are away. Whether your medical practice is new or established, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you. Avoid the pitfalls of securing your property; our expert staff can give you the tips for planning and effectively securing your medical office.

How Smart Technology is Revolutionizing Healthcare

Smart technology is increasingly popular, and it is not new to healthcare either. Although it may not be as prevalent as it is commercially, smart technology is a major topic for medical suites and hospitals today. It’s all about gathering, sharing and using information with the lofty aspirations of improving care while also cutting costs.

The emphasis is on functional interoperability of medical devices and systems to develop a fully interconnected medical institution where data is seamlessly linked and readily available among devices and systems, particularly in electronic health records. But the question lingers, is it worth the investment?

4 Benefits of Smart Technology in the Medical Industry

An intelligent medical suite is based on a combination of existing technologies that are designed, set up and integrated to share data in real-time; and ultimately to provide an enhanced level of clinical information to enable diagnosis, to monitor treatment, and to provide data to see how your practice is performing. 4 key ways adopting smart tech can help are:

1. Increase Medication Compliance

Mobile technology can help patients adhere to their medication orders. It can provide patients with pertinent information on why medical adherence is necessary, especially prescription adherence. The technology can send patients messages and updates, providing them easy, convenient access to readily available information.

Smart technology can calculate when a prescription will run out and send the patient a reminder to get a refill. When the patient refills their prescription, smart tech can send dosage reminders and ask the patient if they took their medication or not.

These capabilities offer medical suites a resource to help lower medication noncompliance and to reduce readmissions.

2. Improve the Post-Treatment Process

Smart technology is a medium for patients and medical suites to monitor hospital discharge instructions and double-check prescriptions. This convenience helps improve medication accuracy and patient safety.

Patients receive a lot of paperwork and instructions upon discharge from their in- or out-patient care. This is not conducive to patients remembering detailed treatment and post-evaluation care (i.e. prescription requirements). Tech can help patients recall the information they receive at discharge by sending post-treatment instruction reminders.

3. Granting Patients Access to Health Information

Given many people now tend to Google possible causes of health issues, embracing smart technology that provides accurate information is a must. Current technology can help medical suites and healthcare professionals realize the value in storing and monitoring a patient’s historical information.  Making information that is already accumulated and stored about a patient readily available improves evidence-based practice standards.

4. Bigger Data for Improved Healthcare

Smart technologies can provide physicians information on the newest and greatest evidence-based medical best practices. Mobile applications can be developed to track health outcomes and evaluate where deviations from expected outcomes occurred and why; allowing medical professionals to identify areas for improvement.

Big data may improve the healthcare system’s ability to assess population health. Mobile technologies can use applications to track health trends as an early indicator of emerging health issues.

Things You Should Consider before Investing in Smart Tech

Smart tech is revolutionizing the way patients and physicians connect, access and analyze information, and communicate.

While this technology has many great implications, it also raises red flags among some practitioners. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued and amended their oversight to specific mobile medical applications and how they are used to perform diagnostics. This evolving legislative landscape highlights the dangers associated with use of mobile technology:

  • Data Privacy. Free and paid apps may send unencrypted data to advertisers and third party data analytics firms. This information is used for behavioral tracking, transmitting detailed personal information to advertisers.
  • HIPAA Concerns. Many medical practices are aware of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, many app developers haven’t considered the importance of HIPAA compliance as required by the medical profession. Up to 50% of health apps have vague or non-existent privacy policies. Some fail to use encryption technology to protect data breaching during the transmission and storage of sensitive information.

Rent or Buy: Which Option is Best for Your Practice?

At one time or another, every medical practice considers whether it is better off to rent or buy its office space. The decision varies.

We’ve compiled a few helpful factors you should consider as you evaluate and strategize your location and move.

Rent or Buy?

The Cash Flow Factor

Typically, you don’t need to invest as much money upfront when you rent as you do when you buy. For example: When you rent, your upfront cost typically comprises the first month’s rent, a security deposit, and extra dollars over the allowance to build out your medical space. When buying, pay for an appraisal, building inspections, loan fees, all the improvement dollars, and other costs.

The Fixed/Variable Cost Factor

Buying an office building gives you a good idea of what your annual costs will be, especially if you get a fixed-rate loan on the property. However, you must be prepared for costs associated with refinancing. Renting an office, on the other hand, is subject to market changes when your lease term expires. Many rental agreements also have a clause allowing for an annual cost increase tied to changes in the Consumer Price Index or some other measure.

The Expansion and Growth Factor

Buying a building to relocate may seem attractive, but factor in the potential for growth and expansion. Outgrowing a space doesn’t have to be a financial crisis. If your practice increases so much that it needs twice the space of the building you have, you can lease out the building at a profit and move your practice into a new, larger space.

Outgrowing a space doesn’t have to involve relocation. Sometimes a growing practice can avoid the cost of moving by simply leasing more space in the building it occupies (subletting). That, however, is not an option when you own a building unless you’re only occupying part of it and another space is available.

The Appreciation Factor

Buying a building opens the door to real estate investing, especially if you’re in an area of appreciating land values. If you own a building with more space than your practice needs, you will likely rent out available space to others, becoming a landlord. It can be profitable, but it can also be more work than simply renting a space.

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In general, renting tends to appeal to medical practices, especially those that don’t want to make large upfront investments. Buying makes more sense if your practice is more established, wants to be in one location for several years, has the financial resources to take on a significant real estate investment.

Whether your medical practice is growing or just getting started, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you. Avoid the pitfalls of expanding your practice; our expert staff can give you the tips to help you effectively rent or buy your next medical office.

The 6 Best Ways to Expand Your Medical Practice

Expanding your medical practice is a sure sign that you’re doing something right and that your patients find you valuable. Focusing on your patients while going through the expansion process, however, is not an easy task. There are numerous things to consider when expanding, but there are a few that will make planning and execution smoother in the end.

Expanding Your Medical Practice

1. Infrastructure

Expansion doesn’t stop at just adding new staff or service. When adding a new doctor to an existing practice you need to consider your existing space (rooms, offices, restrooms) to make sure enough capacity is available to handle the increased patient load. Another consideration is the impact to your current technology bandwidth.

2. Staffing

Expansion often requires new hires. While your staff is one of your greatest assets, they are also one of your biggest expenses. When considering new hires, it is important to evaluate your resources and decide if you can expand assignments or if technology can help. Take time to review and analyze your current IT capabilities and see if adding additional staff is necessary, and/or if new software can improve your customer service and efficiency.

3. Services

Expanding your medical practice is an opportunity to expand the services you offer. This can be concierge services that create additional value for your patients or expanding hours of operation or adding niche services. Simple changes create added value to your business and for your patients. It can also have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

4. Online Presence

Expanding your medical office will mean getting more brand recognition and clientele. The internet is an invaluable tool to create a website, manage social and content marketing services, and purchase SEO services to ensure your site ranks in the best possible positions. Make sure your site is informative, intuitive, easy to navigate, and also provides potential patients with a means of communication.

5. Go Digital

Innovative medical professionals value and understand that most patients use the internet to research services and medical concerns. They are also savvy about how their patients use smart phones and tablets. Stay updated and connected with your patients and community with a touch of a screen. Go digital. Create a personalized portal to provide patients with sensitive information about lab results and prescriptions. Allow patients to book appointments straight from the app or website for more convenience.

There are numerous ways to expand your practice with the use of digital services. Before you decide which strategy to implement, assess your competitors and their strategies.

If time is of essence, you could outsource the work to trained professionals. Consultants and third party professionals can focus on the technical side of the business as you continue to work on the operative side.

6. Move Your Practice

Expanding your practice may require relocation. Not only is it time consuming, it is can be very stressful. Your time is money and efficiency is key. You’ll want to employ extra professionals to manage the increase in work. It is vital that you relocate within your timeline and schedule, select trusted advisers and consultants, plan IT relocation carefully, and map out your budget wisely.

As you plan to move, consider the location, demographic, cost and competition in the market. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, and consider the necessity and the viable alternatives.

Putting it All Together

Every business, small or large, wants to operate in the most cost-effective manner, even during an expansion. It is an exciting prospect; however, the actual expansion 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 practices and how to expand your practice efficiently and smoothly.

To help you get started, schedule an appointment with Boulevard Medical Properties. Avoid the pitfalls of expanding your medical practice; our expert staff can give you the tips for planning and effectively working with your project team.

How to Keep Patients Calm with the Right Colors

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

  1. Stick to 2 or 3 colors and one accent color. This allows for simplicity in design and visual interest.
  2. 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%.
  3. 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.

If you need help finding a property for your medical practice or having it designed in a way that will ensure the space can foster a calming atmosphere, be sure to get in contact with Boulevard Medical Properties today.

How to Move Your Medical Practice with Almost No Downtime

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.

Medical Office Suite Design: All You Need to Know

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.

You can read more tips on waiting room design here.

Pay Attention to Traffic Flow

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.

To find the right medical suite for your practice, check out our list of available properties. If you have any further questions or would like our help throughout the entire process of renting and preparing your new medical practice, contact us today.

5 Steps You Need to Consider with Operating Rooms

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.

Support Innovation

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.

To explore the potential spaces available to you for an operating room or collection of operating theaters, be sure to peruse our list of medical properties available to rent within Los Angeles and its surroundings.

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