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June 25, 2019 - Arminco Inc.
East Dayton Community Health Center in Dayton, Ohio was not always like what it is today. Back when Gary LeRoy, who is now a board member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, first joined this office, it was a small 5,000 sq ft place.
Now, it has been renewed in a way that it treats 15,000 patients annually and has upped its game. The clinic expanded into the vacant spaces around the building and became bigger and more pleasing to the eye.
This clinic is not the only one of its kind to undergo such drastic changes. In a 2016 survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), just over half of respondents said they either remodeled, added space, moved, or made some other change to their practice space in the past two years.
Ken Hertz, principal consultant with the MGMA, says it is no surprise that clinics are constantly adding changes to their workspace because they know it is vital in order for their business to grow.
How do you know if your office needs a makeover? There are certain signs that fall into 3 categories: space, appearance, and productivity.
Are your clients waiting outside in their cars for their turn? Is there no space to sit inside the office? Then maybe you need a bigger office!
Is your reception area boring with worn carpets and not enough chairs for patients to sit on? Do you provide free Wi-Fi to your patients? Do you need new decorations? Then go ahead and change the appearance of your office.
In order to notice what changes your reception area needs, put yourself in the client’s shoes. Sit in your waiting area and just take a look around the office. See if you would like sitting there, waiting for the doctor to call you in. You may notice your office needs some drastic changes.
Masterpiece Center of Aesthetics & Gynecology
If your work area is just a small office, it will be similar to redecorating your house. If you work in a larger clinic, it may be wise to assign every practitioner into one area and ask them of any changes they would like to make to the decoration or the equipment.
It may be a good idea to even ask patients for their input, either through e-mail or surveys or simply by asking them in person. You could also get help from colleagues who have recently renewed their workspace and ask for them to provide you with tips on what to change. If you see any picture in a magazine or on the internet, save it and refer to it to get ideas.
These days, patients are all about feeling at home and comfortable. Make sure to put plenty of chairs with armrests in your waiting area, especially if you have lots of elderly patients. It will be easier for them to sit down and get up this way. You could even consult with an interior designer on how to make your workplace comfier and more patient-friendly.
Make sure to put snacks and drinks for your patients to enjoy while waiting. There should be special stations to charge electronic devices, and free Wi-Fi for patients to use. These changes don’t necessarily have to be expensive! Sometimes a new paint job is all you need, and you can even do it yourself!
The number one waste of time in the medical industry in walking! Sometimes, doctors have to walk between exam rooms and their offices in order to get the tools they need or to delegate work to someone.
In order to waste less time, be sure to place exam rooms next to each other, and set up your equipment in a way that you can show the patient what you are typing or doing in your computer and also keep an eye on them. An easy way to achieve this is to mount monitors on the wall that will show the patient what is going on in your computer.
Once your checklist is complete, review it. If it only involves aesthetic changes like new equipment or decoration, find a good interior designer and just let them do what they want to do.
It is best to leave it to the professionals to come up with the best color scheme and design for your office.
If your checklist involves reconfiguring or adding space, find a good architect and let them handle your requests. Try not to let these changes affect your patients. If you are planning on reconfiguring or adding new space, have the construction team work on the new location while you treat your patients in the existing workplace. Or you could simply ask the team to work on evenings or weekends.
Make sure to inform the rest of the staff and your patient about changes that are going to take place. This usually creates an atmosphere of excitement and makes it easier for everyone to tolerate all the noise and disruption.
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