A functional Ophthalmology clinic design can improve comfort and convenience for patients. That is why every Optometric clinic strives to come up with the best design to enhance the quality of services that it offers to patients.
Since optometric clinics offer a lot of services and have high traffic, they have to use specialized consultants to come up with a functional design. The design has to accommodate a wide range of services as well as support the specific needs of every patient.
A good eye clinic design integrates the needs of everyone with functional requirements. It can also help you achieve patient satisfaction. If you are an ophthalmologist who wants to set up an eye clinic, we can help by giving a design guide in ophthalmology that you can use to make your patients feel comfortable.
The functional considerations to observe
Since most eye clinics have both Ophthalmology and Optometry, the room layouts for both services should be similar. They may, however, include different equipment depending on the specific service available. The functional areas that should form part of the Ophthalmology clinic design are as follows:
The region should deal with the initial admission and processing of patients. The reception area includes registration functions, patient education opportunities, as well as waiting. The area should be in a strategic location so that every patient that visits the clinic does not struggle to identify it. The reception should have a clear view of the waiting area so that they can easily control patient traffic and secure the region from unauthorized access.
Proper organization can boost patient confidentiality. The reception area can also be in the form of a stand-alone kiosk. You can also configure the waiting area to make patients comfortable by, for instance, including seating. The region should have enough space to accommodate patients.
As part of the Ophthalmology clinic design, you should not overlook people with special needs. If you can have more space for things like wheelchairs, it would be more convenient for such patients. In some eye clinics, the reception area sometimes serves as the waiting area. Though most of the facilities that have waiting areas include television sets, adding it to an eye clinic’s waiting area may not be the best idea. Studies reveal that patients with eye problems who are exposed to TV watching while waiting to receive treatment are likely to suffer from increased stress, which can worsen their condition.
Service patient area
The function of the service patient region is to offer treatment to eye patients. It should, therefore, contain all the necessary equipment to test a patient’s vision, diagnose, and treat eye conditions. The service patient area may consist of different testing and treatment rooms. The appropriate Ophthalmology clinic design for these rooms should be one that facilitates natural patient flow from the waiting room to the testing rooms, then the treatment rooms.
The testing rooms can include various rooms that handle pre-testing, visual fields, imaging, laser, ultrasound, and Tomography. Apart from these rooms, you should ensure that your facility provides dilation waiting areas.
Service support area
The service support area comprises of additional functions that can support the daily operations of the eye clinic. It should include things like soiled utility rooms, clean supply, and portable equipment. The service support area should also offer an efficient means of storing and distributing medicines as well as reusable medical equipment.
Apart from the patients, you should ensure that the Ophthalmology clinic design also accommodates every staff member in the optometric clinic. Every specialist needs their own office space where they can operate comfortably. The technicians require adequate workstations that contain all the necessary tools for procedures.
Some of the offices that should be part of the clinic include the chief of staff, assistant chiefs, secretaries, and administrative officers. Apart from the private practice in Ophthalmology, the clinic design should also include shared offices for some of the specialists. For instance, two providers of similar services can share one private office. Private offices can have a lockable door, desk, and some file cabinets.
The sizes of private offices should not be very different. You should also consider lighting during the creation of the design. Each working space should have access to natural light and control it so that you can boost patient satisfaction and reduce stress. The areas should also meet the privacy needs of every patient.
The administrative areas comprise of a team collaboration area in which every member can navigate with ease. You can also boost the privacy of specialists by including staff locker rooms and a lounge, which is a bit distant from the patient area to enhance noise reduction and boost privacy. Next to the staff lounge should be staff toilets.
Service Education section
If the optometrist clinic is big enough, it can offer spaces for education to residents training for related courses. Part of the Ophthalmology clinic design should, therefore, include an office for Internship program directors or residency as well as workstations for interns and fellows. It should also include a team collaboration room.
Optical fitting area
If you intend to provide spectacles to eye patients that need them, you need to include a suitable optical area in the Ophthalmology clinic design. The optical fitting area facilitates the dispensing and fitting of eyeglasses. You should also allocate enough storage space for contact lenses and frames. Include display cabinets in the suitable optical area so that patients get a chance to choose the types of frames they would like. For you to offer eyeglasses services, you may need to work with third-party contractors that supply them to your clinic.
Other considerations to make while creating the Ophthalmology Clinic Design
You should ensure that the design of the clinic reduces staff and patient travel times so that specialists get more time with their patients. The physical design of the different regions should meet the patients’ rights requirements. They should also fulfill the employees’ ergonomic and safety standards. The testing services should be close to the waiting room to boost patient flow.
Since not every patient will need a full examination, the clinic should try and maintain an in and out approach to avoid delays. Most of the patients that need complete examination have to go through more than one test. The exam spaces should, therefore, be a bit distant from the waiting rooms to avoid the congestion of patients in one area.
During procedures and recovery, patients tend to feel vulnerable. Too much traffic or noise can make patients feel insecure as they undergo treatment. A smart Ophthalmology clinic design can also help control such issues to boost patient comfort.
The design of the clinic should always be flexible in that it adapts to the changes in technology. Since technological advancements are a common trend in eye care, the clinic should have enough space to accommodate new diagnostic equipment to remain abreast of the changes.
The Ophthalmology clinic design should also respond to the changing workloads. Flexible plans can prevent costly adjustments in the future. You should consider maintaining the standard sizes of rooms to accommodate a wide range of functions. It is advisable to use a standard planning module.
The examination rooms should have an identical layout for different healthcare professionals to use them efficiently. The sizes of the rooms should not make it hard to convert their functions in the future. For instance, the clinic can decide to covert treatment and testing spaces for other purposes if future needs come up. An excellent Ophthalmology clinic design should facilitate such flexibility.
The clinic should also be committed to the efficient use of different resources, including materials, energy, staff, and equipment. The design for the facility should boost efficiency.
The purpose of an Ophthalmology clinic design should be to create an environment that can foster healing of the patient’s body and mind. You should, therefore, incorporate design concepts that can create a calming atmosphere. It is possible to achieve such by using subtle colors and nature-based materials in the clinic. Make use of low glare finish materials in the facility. You should also avoid using busy patterns on the floors so that patients don’t have a hard time trying to find things they may drop. You can minimize glare by choosing resilient flooring, especially near light sources and windows.
In a sizable optometric clinic, you can reduce the confusion by making it easy for patients to find their way to different sections. Everyone who visits the facility should be able to find their specific destinations with ease. Architectural design elements, as well as the use of signage, can boost navigation.
An efficient design for an optometric clinic should reduce the distance between spaces, including all the critical areas, and offer flexibility for future needs. It is crucial for such a clinic to stick to modular concepts when it comes to layout and planning. Choose the best Ophthalmology clinic design today to boost smooth operations in the facility.
Reid P. Turner, M.D., received his Bachelor of Arts at Central College and went on to receive his Medical Degree with a distinction in teaching at the University of Iowa. While doing his transition years at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, he even completed a rotation through Wolfe Eye Clinic. Dr. Turner excelled during his ophthalmology residency at the respected Storm Eye Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina.
He was elected Chief Resident by his peers, the Valloton Award for Academic Excellence for two years straight and was three times named Teacher of the Month in the College of Medicine. He has been seeing patients with Wolfe Eye Clinic since August 2018.