When setting up a brand new medical practice, there are many standards and design guidelines that should be considered to ensure your facilities are “fit-for-purpose” to provide quality patient care. The design guidelines cover most aspects of the design and layout of your medical clinic including consultation and treatment rooms, waiting area, privacy, security, storage, and infection control.

Reception and Waiting Area Layout

When designing your medical practice reception area, your reception desk should be located near the practice entrance. It should be oriented to allow the receptionist to view both the entrance and the entire waiting room. 

To protect patient privacy and confidentiality, your reception area should provide an area or alcove away from the waiting room to allow for more sensitive discussions about health needs and financial arrangements.  Background music can also help to improve patient privacy by making conversations less audible to other patients.

Include plenty of chairs in your waiting area, covered by good quality, durable fabric.  You will need sufficient seating capacity for at least three appointments, and extra seating for partners or children accompanying patients. A small, safe play area for children is also worth considering if your clientele consists primarily of families.

Consulting Room Design

Your medical practice must have at least one dedicated consulting or examination room for each member of your clinical team working in the practice at any time. This is a key requirement that affects your clinic design as it largely determines the size of your practice. For example, if you’re going to have five GPs working every day, you’ll need at least five consulting rooms.  

For the comfort of your patients and staff, your consulting and examination rooms must be free from excessive noise, adequately lit and maintain a comfortable ambient temperature. This is an important checklist when selecting soundproofing, lighting and temperature control systems. Temperature is important for patients who need to undress for examinations. Noise proofing is also important as it looks after your patients and staff alike.

Storage

It’s important to include multiple storage options for your medical clinic. Open shelving or divided drawers are great options for storing everyday items in your consulting and treatment rooms.  You can also keep smaller items in mobile cabinets or carts to allow the flexibility to move them between rooms.

Your bulkier and surplus items will need some dedicated space, so consider storing these items in one room. This will help maximise your use of space, as well as make it easy to monitor your stock levels.

Lockable storage is definitely a ‘must have’ for clinical supplies, medication, and hazardous materials (such as liquid nitrogen and oxygen).

More Information

The Standards for general practices developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) include guidelines that relate specifically to your practice’s physical environment. 

Get Inspired

Elite Fitout Solutions has helped numerous doctors with medical practice fitouts and refurbishments.

View our medical practice project gallery for inspiration for your own fitout.  Or, if you’d like to learn more, contact Elite today on 1300 765 344.

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