Missed part 1, where we talk about the location of your medical clinic property? Go back.
Now that you’ve got a new medical clinic property in your name, it’s time to fit it out. Use this checklist from Nitschke Nancarrow to create the professional and welcoming environment your future patients are looking for.
Here’s what you need to know to start setting up your medical clinic property for serious business.
Try to take a logical and practical view when it comes to designing the layout of your medical clinic property. You might maximise workflow by ordering reception, waiting, treatment and payment areas sequentially.
Avoid a setup that puts patient documents in close contact with potential contaminants. For example, you wouldn’t want to keep the photocopy and fax machines near instrument sterilisation equipment. You might also find that it’s better to have the patient washrooms located far away from staff break rooms.
Lights, Colors, Textures
Lights and colors have a strong psychological impact. Any medical setting can invoke some strong psychological reactions in patients so you should use lights and colors to help improve your patients’ experience.
Go for natural tones that invoke feelings of peace and calm. Think turquoise to remind patients of fresh water or sandy beige and wood finishes to give a feeling of warmth.
Decorate the environment to appeal to the main demographic of patients you see. Kids often prefer bright colors and bold shapes and cartoon characters.
Incorporate nature as much as possible. If your property doesn’t have appealing natural views, put up pictures and decals that bring nature into your practice.
When planning the design for public areas like the waiting room, go with bright lighting and lots of open spaces. Treatment areas, on the other hand, are better if they’re made cozy and intimate to increase the patient’s sense of security.
No matter what your area of expertise may be, your practice should be accessible to all. Make sure that signage, directions, stairways, elevators, flooring and such are all safe for people with disabilities. Familiarise yourself with local regulations for accommodating the visually and hearing impaired, and those with limited mobility.
A hygienic and tidy environment is not only critical to your patients’ health, but it also has a major impact on their perception of your practice.
Select fabrics, surfaces and finishes that are easy to sanitise and keep clean.
Safety is perhaps the most important (if not the most glamourous) part of the outfitting process.
If your fit-out isn’t safe, you could face some serious liability claims.
Make sure exits in your building are clearly marked and easy to access. Minimise fire and fall hazards as much as possible. Install sufficient emergency lighting.
Sometimes, you’re compelled to work with what you have. A little creativity can help you turn a downside into a novelty.
One dentist, for example, converted a caravan into an extremely modern two-chair mobile clinic complete with a waiting room.
It may help to first consult a few experts before you pursue any such entrepreneurial vision, however.
As you fit out your medical clinic property, you’ll be tempted to take a few shortcuts to save money. But in doing so, you could be shorting yourself on some major returns down the road. The time, thought and money you put into planning your practice’s environment could be one of the most important investments you make in your business.
Not the landlord?
If you don’t own the property, get to know the landlord before you even decide to rent the space.
This is because the way the landlord cares for the property will affect how well you can outfit and maintain it. If the outside of the building looks shoddy, then you’ll have a hard time attracting business even if your rented portion looks great. Choose a landlord you can easily work with and who cares about their property.
Go back to Part 1 of the series here
– Kym Nitschke
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