In order to create a good experience for your patients and to elevate your practice above others, make sure your office is laid out with one goal in mind: efficiency. By optimizing your best office layout, you can create a great experience for your patients, strengthening your relationships with them and encouraging communication. You will also create a space designed for workflow efficiency, patient safety and improved patient and team interactions.
There are 5 steps to perfecting your best office layout for efficiency:
1. Team Stations
To improve efficiency and strengthen camaraderie between your employees, implement team stations or pods. You can place these pods or stations close to patient exam rooms so that the space that must be traveled between tasks is shorter. This also leads to more visibility to the exam rooms, which is also a plus for your staff.
You will also create opportunities for employees to naturally interact multiple times a day. Besides leading to a stronger bond between team members, these interactions might also lead to better patient outcomes and lower health care costs.
If you do not already have a central workspace or do not have a money for a big remodel, you might consider converting a centrally located exam room into a team space.
2. Encourage Engagement from Patients
You want to encourage productive interactions and eye contact from patients, making sure they feel comfortable to fully communicate with you. The shapes, types and arrangement of furniture can all help with this goal. Instead of spending the whole visit on the examination table (which is uncomfortable for patients), consider adding a few chairs to the exam room to help foster conversation. You should also add computers on a swivel arm to each room or give your team laptops to being with them to each exam, so that they may feel free to shift their position to face patients when speaking with them.
The best desk shapes for encouraging patient communication are moderately sized circular or semi-circular desktops. This allows for the both the patient and the doctor to share access to the computer while still being able to face each other for conversation.
3. Alleviate Patient Anxiety with Pleasant Distractions
It’s safe to say that most patients feel uneasy at the doctor’s office. And when they walk into your practice, they pick up on their surroundings that give them clues as to the quality of care you will provide them. Make sure your practice sends the right first impression by setting up your waiting room with calming elements. Add artwork featuring images of nature in direct view, provide a selection of magazines about an array of popular subjects and install a flat screen set to a patient-education loop.
4. Make Rooms Feel More Spacious
The last thing your patients need is to feel claustrophobic, so make sure your office gives off a feeling of spaciousness. Add soft lighting to exam rooms, rearrange the furniture for optimal space and make exam rooms feel more open by placing desks, exam tables and chairs in the best position. Also, make sure your office does not have a lot of clutter, which can make even big spaces feel small.
5. Use Technology to Connect with Patients
Instead of burying your face in your computer screen while meeting with patients, increase your eye contact with them and share the computer screen. Using laptops, tablets and large monitors can help you and your team achieve this goal. By maintaining eye contact, you will help your patients feel at ease and encourage open communication.
Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. We have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because we understand that every practice is unique, we can provide a custom space for your best office layout.