Designing with Success in Mind

Written by on July 31, 2012 in Features - No comments
DrHolland 20176-8x10-75dpi

Eight interior design principles to consider when staging your practice

By Bethany Houston

Not only is it important to set up your practice financially for success, but it’s also vital to ensure that your office design displays the exceptional care you provide to your patients. Holland Optometric does a fantastic job of designing their eye care center. While your practice may not be optometrists, use these eight design rules when staging your practice:

1.  Think about your patients. Before you even step into a fabric store or office furniture outlet, the most important place to start when designing your practice is to think about your patients and their needs. Is your practice a pediatric office? OB-GYN? Optometric? Catering your design to your clientele is the primary step in staging your practice for success.

2.  Evoke emotions. Once you have identified your patients and their needs, think about how you want them to feel when stepping into your office. If you’re an obgyn, you might want to portray a soft feministic approach. If you’re a pediatrician, you want children to have fun and feel comfortable. Ensure that your office’s color palette evokes the right emotions. Neutral colors are great for soothing patients, and bright colors help keep children happy and playful. In the optometric reception room example (see left), they wanted to maintain a cutting-edge and stylish appearance for their fashion-forward clients.

3.  Be flexible. So as to assist your practice when change comes about, set your larger furniture pieces as office staples. Choose more subtle designs for reception desks and cabinetry, and ensure they are easily movable or transferable. Keep your smaller elements (such as bookshelves, wall hangings, and light fixtures) for the “accessories” that define your overall look. This will allow you to adapt to the growth and success your practice.

4.  Do look down. Every interior designer knows that the floor is not simply something people walk on; it is the fifth wall of the room. When reviewing your flooring options, consider something appealing and durable. Much like your larger pieces of furniture, choose carpet that is versatile but not boring.

5.  Express yourself. As the owner of your practice, you want to feel comfortable in the space you spend most of your time. To ensure you are at home, allow the practice design to reflect yourself. Display pieces of your favorite artist or choose a theme that centers around your favorite hobby (sailing, anyone?). Using these personal touches will allow the patient to feel more at ease in your practice and with you as their practitioner.

6.  Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Any fashion guru will tell you the importance of looking put together is all in the accessories. Interior design is no different! Using well-placed vases, plants and wall hangings can transform the way your practice is perceived.

7.  Clear away the clutter. With hundreds of files, receipts, samples and files, practices are notorious for appearing cluttered. Utilize shelving and cabinetry to keep your reception desk organized – this is where most of the clutter occurs, and it’s where most of the patients look!

8.  Keep it germ-free. Finally, the one place a patient should feel at ease about cleanliness is their doctor’s office. Since waiting rooms, bathrooms, countertops and doorknobs can be a breeding ground for germs, ensure that your staff is aware and proactive of your cleaning standards. Consider providing bottles of hand sanitizer in easy-to-reach locations for your patients’ convenience and assurance.

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