5 Trends in Medical Office Design

To remain com­pet­i­tive in the health­care industry, medical prac­ti­tion­ers must demon­strate their com­mit­ment to safety, patient comfort, energy effi­cien­cy, and a high standard of medical care. 

Medical Office Design Trends

Below are five trends in medical office design that enable health­care providers to illus­trate their ded­i­ca­tion to high-quality patient care.

1) Instal­la­tion of LED lighting through­out the office. Medical offices are increas­ing­ly replacing their halogen and incan­des­cent lights with LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting.

There are two key benefits to LED lighting. First, there are the cost savings. LED light lighting helps medical prac­ti­tion­ers reduce monthly expenses by using less energy. Moreover, they have a longer lifespan and need to be replaced less fre­quent­ly. According to the U.S. Depart­ment of Energy, LED lights use less than one-third of the energy of halogen lights and last 8 to 25 times longer than incan­des­cent bulbs. In fact, many medical grade LED lights have a life expectan­cy of 50,000 hours.

Second, there are safety benefits to using LED lights. LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, which is sturdier than glass, reducing the like­li­hood of a bulb breaking and become a safety hazard. They also do not get as hot as incan­des­cent lights, which reduces the risk of burns if the skin comes into contact with them or combustion. 

Medical offices are now using LED lighting in the following areas:

  • Mobile LED lights in patient exam­i­na­tion rooms
  • Dual head ceiling mount LED lights in procedure rooms and operating rooms
  • Portable LED head­lights for oral and plastic surgeons
  • Parking lots and garages

2) Heated exam­i­na­tion tables and patient warmers to keep chilly patients toasty. Medical offices can now purchase surgical tables and exam­i­na­tion tables that have built-in heating elements that can be activated to facil­i­tate surgical pro­ce­dures and help keep patients warm. 

Other medical warming devices are also appearing with greater frequency, such as fluid warmers and blanket warmers. Blanket warmers are espe­cial­ly popular among medical prac­ti­tion­ers who treat elderly patients, who often find cooler tem­per­a­tures harder to endure.

3) State-of-the-art waiting areas. Medical prac­ti­tion­ers seeking to increase patient comfort should note that patients usually spend more time in the waiting room than they do in the exam­i­na­tion room. Patients spend an average of 87 minutes at a doctor’s office but less than a fourth of this time with a physician, so it is critical to focus on patient comfort in the waiting area. 

Below are some of the improve­ments that medical offices are implementing: 

  • Free Wi-Fi to allow patients to make use of downtime by browsing the internet or com­plet­ing work-related tasks
  • Play areas to keep children occupied
  • Large flat-screen TVs strate­gi­cal­ly placed for patient viewing
  • Waiting areas with a modern décor and com­fort­able furniture

4) MRI-safe rooms and devices. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) pro­ce­dures are an increas­ing­ly common method of diag­nos­ing and treating patients. Pro­tect­ing patients and staff while promoting the accuracy of the procedure requires physi­cians to invest in MRI-safe medical equipment and furniture. These may include: 

  • MRI-com­pat­i­ble patient vital signs monitors
  • MRI-safe infusion pumps and I.V. poles
  • MRI-com­pat­i­ble anes­the­sia machines
  • MRI-safe linen carts and instru­ment stands 

5) Use of inno­v­a­tive wall systems to regulate tem­per­a­ture, have a quiet more com­fort­able envi­ron­ment and promote energy efficiency. 

Medical offices need exterior walls that combine insu­la­tion to save energy and an air barrier to eliminate uncom­fort­able drafts.

Noise reduction is also an important con­sid­er­a­tion. With the rising cost of land, medical prac­ti­tion­ers have limited options about where to establish their offices. They also need to be in a location that is easily acces­si­ble to patients. As a result, many medical offices are located near bus routes, busy roads, and highways. With all the nearby traffic noise, it’s impos­si­ble to keep the medical office as quiet as it should be without the right kind of exterior wall.

The walls should also be strong enough to stand up to damaging storms while taking less time to build.

The new Bautex Wall System was designed for the needs of medical office buildings. You can learn more here.

You should always work with archi­tects who know the needs of your industry and your area. Click here for a directory of archi­tec­tur­al firms in Texas that have expe­ri­ence in medical offices.