A good medical fit out incorporates a lot of different elements in order to suit each clinics needs and therefore it is important to go through the correct design process for each element on your clinic.
- Choosing the Right Location
Getting your location right from the beginning is extremely important.
Just as there are certain things around your location that are sure to help your business grow there are others that may have a negative impact on your clinic and therefore you will want to stay away from these things if possible.
Things such as ample available parking, public transport and shared amenities are things that can be a huge benefit to your clinic whereas competitors who already have a strong presence within the community will not benefit you at all (especially if you are starting from scratch and need to get your foot in door with new patients).
2. Getting to Know You
Good branding is an important part of any medical fit out, and seeing as it is one of the first things that current and potential patients see you need to make sure you are sending the right message to the clientele you wish to attract.
Through good branding you can illustrate the warm, comforting environment you offer inside your clinic and therefore draw patients in other than having them walk past without even noticing you, or worse, walking in the opposite direction.
3. A Warm Welcome
Make sure your entry, reception and waiting areas are warm and welcoming.
For certain patients waiting can sometimes be just as stressful than the appointment itself, therefore it is important to try and make everyone feel as comfortable as possible from the moment they walk in the door.
Utilising ‘warm’ materials such as timber and soft furnishings can evoke a sense of comfort and additions like music and artwork can provide welcome distractions.
Other items you may want to consider, depending on the type of clinic you are running, is informative information on the services you provide. You may find that having some reading material on hand could help patients in understanding the procedure(s) they are about to undertake giving them some sort of comfort.
Phone/ laptop charging stations can also be a welcome comfort to some patients by enabling them to charge their phone or do some work while they wait. Although it may seem like a small luxury to you as a business owner, it can make a big difference to their visit.
These little things are a simple way of bringing a lot of comfort into your medical fit out and will not go unnoticed.
4. Helping Everyone Find Their Way
When a patient or patient’s family member turns up to your clinic for the first time the last thing they want to do is have to worry about finding someone in order to ask directions.
By placing your reception desk as close to the entrance of your clinic as possible you are already giving new patients a direct go-to point when they walk in.
As well as this you want to make sure any signage you have on display is clear and simple. Although it might seem like a good idea to have signs pointing in every direction this can actually cause more confusion for some people.
Simple, clear signage is a great start to making any new patient feel at ease and comfortable from the moment they walk through your door.
5. Colour Selection
Choosing the right colours within your medical fit out can make a big impact. Shades of blue and green are highly recommended in a medical environment as they can create a sense of calm, whereas bold colours such as reds and oranges can sometimes create a sense of anxiety, the opposite feeling you are trying to invoke within patients.
Areas such as waiting rooms, consultation rooms and even staff areas can benefit in the addition of some extra colour in order to create some sense of relaxation in what can be a generally hectic atmosphere.
Furniture selection within your clinic is more important than you may initially think.
The type of patients you have coming to your clinic can play a big role in the seating options you will need to consider not only for your waiting areas but consultation rooms also.
For example if your patients are more or less all injured in some way or the majority of patients you have coming in are elderly you might want to consider having arms on all of your waiting and visitor chairs in order to make it easier for them to stand up once they have been sitting for awhile, or if you have a mix of patients coming in and out you will want to provide a mix of seating options.
Chair bases and the way your chairs are upholstered are also an important part of your furniture selection especially if in an environment in which patients could potentially start acting difficult or irrational during their wait and/or appointment.
The last thing we want is for any seating to be used as a weapon, therefore by selecting sled bases as opposed to 4-leg bases and upholstery that can not be unpicked in order to gain access to staples or nails is extremely important for the safety of your staff and other waiting patients.
7. Drop-Off and Parking
Parking can be stressful for some people, especially if it is the first time they are visiting a certain place or if they have an injury that doesn’t allow them to walk long distances, therefore the more adequate parking available to patients the better.
Although we know it isn’t always possible to have a huge carpark on site there are other ways to obtain additional parking in the way of location.
Being close by to public parking that patients can utilise is a huge benefit and will give patients the piece of mind that when they come to your clinic they will not be spending half an hour trying to find a car spot, thus reducing anxiety in a time that can already be quite stressful.
Another option is to consider locations that are in close proximity to public transport. Again, this gives patients one less thing to worry about if they can catch a train or bus to your door this can be a much better option for some.
8. Healthy Building
Medical environments are a place of healing and so it is only fair that the building itself should promote and to a point, be healthy itself.
Good strategies for a healthy building include clean and filtered air, the use of Red List-free materials, outdoor access where possible and live plants throughout waiting and reception areas.
If you want to go a step further, elements such as excess heat, rain and wind can also be captured, stored and used within your facility.
Giving your patients the opportunity to customise their visit even in the smallest way can make a huge impact on their experience with your clinic.
Depending on the type of services you have on offer you could provide a selection of music options that your patient can listen to while they are having a treatment done or go as far as having virtual skylights installed in your ceilings above treatment beds in which patients can choose the view they are looking up at while having a procedure.
10. Dignified Discharge
Allowing patients to leave your building in a dignified manner is imperative in making them feel comfortable.
If you are offering services in which patients might feel self conscious about how they look once they have had a treatment done, to their face for example, it can really pay to have a back exit that can be utilised in order for patients to get from the treatment room to their car without having to walk through a crowded waiting area.
Not only will this benefit the patient that has just had the treatment done, it can also help with reducing anxiety in waiting patients.
As you can see, with the right team helping you through the process it is easy to incorporate the essential elements into your medical fit out.