In a recent issue of Building Design + Construction magazine, senior editor Julie Higgenbotham outlined several ways that future medical offices will differ from typical medical offices of the 20th century. According to the article, the development model is shifting toward a leaner, greener and more digital medical facility. Architects and designers are eschewing typical cookie-cutter outpatient facilities in favor of medical complexes where patients can receive a continuum of care.
Modern medical offices will be more than a waiting room connected to a series of corridors and examination rooms. From now on, medical office space will be more collegial and diverse. Physicians of multiple disciplines will share expansive spaces where patients can access urgent care, primary care, specialty clinics, social services, medical advocates, a lab and a pharmacy all at one conveniently located facility.
Brad Cardoso, AIA, Senior Healthcare Architect at Margulies Perruzzi Architects, had this to say about the trend toward more complex medical facilities:
“Market analysis and community demand are factors that drive the services offered within an outpatient center. Often, care can be more efficiently provided by co-locating diagnostic services with primary care and specialty groups.”
Well said, Brad. We completely agree. Another new feature that’s sure to become more common to future medical office spaces is something called a shared medical appointment, or SMA. Held in a comfortable conference room, several patients can receive information and instructions from a specialist at once. In cases where the same information is presented to every patient, a shared appointment saves time and energy. After an informative Q&A session, patients who require individual evaluation can move to exam rooms while the remainder of the patients are free to leave the facility.
SMAs have been in existence albeit on a very small scale, for at least ten years. Now that the Affordable Care Act is in place, and more Americans have medical insurance, the trend toward more efficient doctor-patient visits will continue. Shared medical appointments are sure to be part of that new efficiency and convenience. When several patients with chronic conditions are seen together, the patients get more time with the doctor and the doctor makes more money. Designing at least one SMA conference room into new medical space makes perfect sense.
If you’d like to know how to rent medical office space for your private or shared practice, contact us. We are OfficeFinder Information and Referral Network, and we look forward to hearing from you.