The Science Behind Great Doctor Office Design

The Science Behind Great Doctor Office Design

October 07, 2022 - Arminco Inc.

Health Services Research says the average doctor's visit lasts 18 minutes. But that's just the time patients spend with their physicians. Wait times can exceed a patient's time with their doctor.

The office design they must sit in during that time is a part of the medical care they receive. Science-driven doctor office design impacts patients on a psychological level. It can have minor effects, like how they feel about their care, and large ones, like improving their treatment outcome.

Doctor Office Design: Why It Matters

You may believe that interior design and floor plans have little to do with your patient's medical care. While your practice may be top of the line, your patients' comfort as they await care plays a more prominent role than once believed.

When patients are in a comfortable and calm setting, they're more likely to be calm themselves. Patients healing in a calm environment have better outcomes with lowered chances of infection and less pain. A low-stress environment may even help them heal faster in some cases.

The benefits of quality medical office design extend to physicians as well. The Center for Health Design found that calming design elements help reduce medical errors and staff stress levels.

The Psychology of Doctor Office Design

There's a bit of psychology behind why doctor office design matters. Evolution wired the human brain to pay attention to threats and uncertainty, which leads us to notice anything new or out of place.

Interior design in the home exudes markers of safety and convivial. From conversation pieces to furniture arrangements, home design signals to our brains that we are safe. A barren, clinical doctor's office provides a stark contrast to such comforts.

When confronted with unsettling design, people begin feeling anxious and panicked. That panic snowballs into distrust of their physician and lowers expectations for their care. They're more likely to:

  • Withhold information
  • Ignore doctor recommendations
  • Become susceptible to worse psychological outcomes

Even details like the floor plan and furniture arrangement impact patient psychology. Small waiting rooms with comfortable, social seating arrangements give patients a feeling of control as they await their medical appointments. That control translates to confidence in themselves and their physicians.

How to Add Science-Driven Design to Your Office

Comfort that doesn't impede efficiency is the balancing game doctor's offices play as they upgrade their interior design. Medical clinic design researchers found success by taking queues from the natural world. Some upgrades to consider that make the office feel more natural are:

  • Adding plants and botanical art
  • Make the most out of natural light sources
  • Incorporating water features
  • Playing natural sounds at comforting volumes
  • Use a color scheme with botanical colors

Finally, create a logically organized layout to reduce the cognitive load on the doctor or staff's brain. These decisions can make all the difference in your patients' experience.

Get an Expert Office Design Consultation From Arminco

Doctor clinic design is an essential part of quality patient care. But, many offices lack the resources necessary to begin renovations. Interior designers aren't everyday staffing decisions at a medical clinic.

That's where doctor office design firms like Arminco can help. We are an all-in-one medical architecture firm that's helped clients nationwide.

Our experts know what it takes to transform your office into a calming patient environment. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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