The series of recently enacted significant legislative changes to America's healthcare delivery system have made one thing abundantly clear; patient centered policies and initiatives are now front and center when it comes to what healthcare providers need to focus on.
Taking a fresh look at physician office design has also found a spot on the agenda as both administrators and clinical staff begin to re-evaluate the impact of every point of contact on patient outcomes and satisfaction. What has emerged from this is a fundamental change in the interaction between healthcare providers and patients that is transforming the industry.
The Doctor's Office Re-Imagined
As healthcare facilities have begun to adopt a more patient-centered approach to their overall operation, it has become increasingly evident that changes to the traditional physician office design have been beneficial not just to patients, but to clinical staff as well.
Let's take a look at five central components of physician office design change that can serve as a general template for those undertaking projects of this type.
Accessibility – since mobility issues will always be a standard characteristic of many patients coming to a healthcare facility, putting increased attention into ensuring these locations are easy to enter and navigate just makes common sense. Measures such as adjusting the height of exam tables, the width of access ways, the adjustability of X-ray and other diagnostic equipment has proven to dramatically affect both patient usage and staff effectiveness.
Efficiency – from a clinician's point of view, patient accessibility has greatly improved exam & treatment performance. From equipping exam rooms with mobile EHR workstations to putting digital diagnostic devices on moveable trays – physician office design is now changing to help doctors maximize patient engagement and thus save time and enhance accuracy in handling vital medical data. A more efficient doctor-patient interaction yields better medical outcomes. Adjusting the manner of how physicians and nurses operate during patient contact is deepening the transformation in patient care.
Comfort & aesthetics – the patient experience includes every aspect of a visit, so a holistic approach to physician office design will incorporate changes to everything from lighting in the parking lot to how the waiting area is designed. Comfortable chairs, pleasing colors, clean carpeting, the presence of plants and art in waiting areas – all serve to enhance the overall impact of a medical facility on the patients coming in for care. Having the patient more comfortable helps when it comes time to interact with the physician and staff.
Safety – ensuring that patients feel secure can positively impact the entire examination and treatment process. This can include such measures as table & chair height to alleviate fear of falls all the way to buzz in access to the clinic itself, which can help clients feel more secure once in a facility. And a calm patient helps clinical staff more easily perform their tasks too.
Security – when patients notice that their physician office design utilizes modern computer equipment that is efficiently and effectively used by staff, they feel more secure that their vital personal medical information is being handled in a manner that is compliant with the protections HIPAA guidelines have been written to insure.
The bottom line is that modern physician office design is central to today's renewed focus on the patient-centered policies and treatments underscoring the host of significant changes sweeping through the nation's healthcare industry.
We at CME can help your clinic become the very embodiment of this win-win patient-centered focus in healthcare. We serve all healthcare facilities including the government.