By Matt Kuhrt
Changing trends in healthcare delivery have some physicians and designers rethinking the way practices are physically laid out, according to an article in Healthcare Design.
Through a project called Clinic 20XX, a group of designers sought to reinvent healthcare delivery in order to better deal with areas in which current facilities fail to meet patients' needs. Despite the rise of retail clinics, the project's research found that patients saw themselves "needing care far more than as consumers buying services." For their part, physicians told the project they valued patient-centric elements more than anything else, according to the article. Time with patients and availability of exam rooms topped the list.
With that in mind, the designers came up with changes to consider when designing the practice of the future:
- Make spaces and processes more patient-centric. According to previous reporting by FiercePracticeManagement, some clinics have already seen success in minimizing or eliminating the waiting room and getting patients into exam rooms. The article suggests streamlining the check-in process and moving patients into exam rooms quickly will reduce the space required for waiting rooms and offer patients a smoother, more efficient experience.
- Design with team-based care delivery in mind. Tweaking the design of the exam rooms themselves so that they serve more as "consult rooms" allows practices to consolidate space by discharging patients in the same space, according to Healthcare Design. This also allows practices to more easily accommodate the needs of healthcare teams, freeing up space that can be dedicated to expanded services, such as areas for nutritional or behavioral therapy, as well as space for the team members themselves to interact.
- Build with technology in mind. As patients and physicians increasingly embrace the concept of mobile healthcare, the article notes that it's equally important not only to build with today's technological needs in mind, but also to try to anticipate and account for the future.
To learn more:
- see the article