Whether you are building a new office or reconfiguring your existing space, thoughtful design is essential to the success of your chiropractic practice.
Investing time and care in planning your new space goes a long way toward ensuring it provides convenience and comfort for patients, maximizes the quality of care, and supports the needs of you and your staff, while improving operational efficiency.
One important step to consider initially is partnering with an architect who has expertise in designing healthcare facilities. The right architect will take the time to understand your approach to providing patient care, listen to your concerns, and help you focus on accomplishing your ultimate goal: creating the optimal space for your chiropractic practice.
A positive patient experience
The location and size of exam rooms is often the No. 1 item on any practitioner’s planning list. Where you decide to position these rooms can help improve the efficiency and productivity of your practice, while greatly enhancing the patient experience.
For example: Patients who visit your office regularly for quick treatments may appreciate the convenience of having rooms located close to the office entrance. Those requiring more intensive therapy may enjoy the relative privacy afforded by rooms that are farther down the hall.
Room size may be a consideration depending on the focus of your chiropractic practice. Larger treatment rooms, which may or may not include multiple adjustment tables, are an option for families who are comfortable receiving treatment in the same space. Patients with children also may welcome the convenience of having them in the same room.
If space allows, perhaps you can designate an area for in-depth patient consultations and education. As an alternative to the traditional arrangement, with the doctor seated behind a desk, consider creating a comfortable open space that will accommodate treatment equipment and allow patients and staff to review X-rays or videos.
Many chiropractors travel from treatment room to treatment room with a laptop or tablet to record electronic patient health records. Ask your architect to suggest design options that will provide sufficient seating and counter space to allow you and your staff to easily enter data, while remaining engaged and attentive to patients.
Combining comfort and creativity
In addition to addressing traffic flow, efficiency, and privacy issues, smart design can create a comfortable environment for your patients and staff. The first impression the public has of your chiropractic practice is your reception area, so you want to emphasize aesthetics here. Providing ample room for patients to complete intake forms and incorporating natural lighting will help create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Establishing convenient check-in and check-out areas enhances patient privacy. Hallways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers will help facilitate the smooth transition of patients from check-in to treatment to check-out.
As well as developing a functional and practical plan, your architect can also assist with incorporating design elements that reflect the personality of your practice. Color, finishes, and furnishings are an extension of your values and brand. While a trendy look may “wow” new patients, it may be wiser (and more cost effective) to choose contemporary yet timeless elements.
A space for today and tomorrow
An essential aspect of the planning process is to consider both the current and future needs of your chiropractic practice. If growth is part of your future, your architect can help you build in the necessary flexibility.
An experienced architect, along with your contractor and a good design, can also minimize practice downtime and office disruption during renovations. Working together, you can avoid having construction interfere with your ability to see patients and deliver treatment effectively.
Renovating space for your chiropractic practice can be either an exciting endeavor or a nightmare, and an experienced architect can make all the difference. Perhaps the most important decision you can make is choosing an architect who understands the unique needs of healthcare providers and their patients.
Barry Poskanzer, certified by the American Institute of Architects, is a partner at Poskanzer Skott Architects, an award-winning design and planning firm in Ridgewood, NJ. He has served more than 500 clients in the public and private sectors, and is accomplished in commercial, new construction, restoration, retrofit, adaptive re-use, office interior design and facilities space planning, master site planning, and site work. He can be contacted at 201-445-2322 or email@example.com.