Maximising Space In Your Clinic

Maximising Space In Your Clinic
May 6, 2021 Dentifit

Many medical, dental and veterinary clinics are constantly battling with their available space. It seems each new technological development or business feature takes up more room, but very rarely are you able to free up space. 

We’ve compiled some interior design trends and architectural changes that can actually improve your space management, or at least make the area you have more comfortable for patients and staff. 

alt="orderly and tidy doctor office"

A clean and orderly office can make your patients feel more comfortable.

Give Patients Some Level Of Control 

Privacy is priority number one for patients when they visit a healthcare clinic. It’s common for a person to want to seek their own space when they enter your clinic, so if it feels cramped, nerves may spike. 

A person is likely to stand in the corner instead of taking a seat on a congested couch. So, if you want to maximise space and patient comfort, we recommend implementing unfixed furnishings. Set seating can be bulky, so a move to stackable chairs with a handful of centre-piece furniture items may free up more floor space than you initially thought. 

Patient-centred healthcare clinics allow their visitors to control the layout of the waiting area. By doing this, people feel more at ease because they’ve maintained a certain level of control. This strategy is beneficial for anxious patients who may feel cornered in by bulky, linked seating. 

Remove Or Reduce Barriers 

What is the bulkiest item in your clinic? One of the most space-consuming items in most clinics is the reception desk. An identifiable point for administration is useful and establishes a communication chain in the clinic. Nonetheless, a larger than life reception desk may take up space that could be better utilised. 

Modern patient behaviours suggest that fixed reception desks can seem unwelcoming or imposing. It feels like a physical barrier that separates patients from help. Your receptionists are probably your clinic’s backbone, so they need adequate space to work, but many clinics are implementing more flexible administration hubs. Old fashioned reception desks are fitted with pigeon holes and plenty of filing space that is redundant now thanks to digital technology. Downsizing or implementing mobile reception areas give you more floor space and helps make your reception team more approachable. 

Some ways you can reduce reception space is: 

  • Digital check-in kiosks 
  • Roaming patient support staff 
  • Create a separate administration room 

 

alt="Clean and open clinic reception area"

Patients find comfort in being able to find their own waiting space.

Merge Indoor & Outdoor Living Together

Even if your clinic is strapped for space, it doesn’t need to feel that way with the right design choices. Specific tweaks and interior design choices can maximise how large your clinic feels. 

A general rule of thumb for clinics is to keep your designs light, natural and well-lit. Dark colours, busy textures and dim lighting make a space feel compact; you want the opposite. Neutral airy tones and open windows will make a massive difference to your clinic space. 

A fun design hack to give the impression of higher ceilings is to paint them a lighter shade to the walls. Mirrors are also an excellent wall decoration because they can reflect natural light into your building’s darker areas. If you want to decrease shadows in your clinic, styling your clinic with transparent furnishings helps make your rooms appear brighter and less cluttered. 

Manage Your Storage

When space is tight in your clinic, it can be tough to find adequate storage. A centralised storage area is ideal and allows you to access all needed equipment in one place; however, some clinics simply don’t have a large enough room to implement it. Some practices strive to keep each exam room fully stocked, but this comes with extra millwork. 

The best middle ground is to:

  • Centralise as much as possible
  • Utilise portable storage stations 
  • Maximise vertical storage 
  • Brainstorm with your staff to decide on other effective strategies which meet your clinic’s specifications
alt="Centralised storage is a popular solution for many clinics"

Centralised storage is a popular option for clinics, but there are other ways to efficiently store equipment without it.

Open Bay Patient Rooms 

If you’re willing to make a small architectural change to maximise your clinic space, knocking down a few walls to create an open bay patient room may give you some valuable extra metres to play with. You can fit more important equipment into one large room rather than several smaller ones. If privacy is a concern, you can use dividers or half-walls to add structure. This is perfect for less intrusive procedures like general checkups or consultations. 

Talk to Dentifit, if you’re looking for an upgrade, we have the experts and the know-how to make it happen! Contact us today to find out how to make your practice comfortable and contemporary.