22 Aug 2016 2:14 PM
Designing your veterinary practice is about much more than colour swatches and flooring samples. Arguably the most important aspect of the design phase is coming up with a floor plan that will work for your clients and staff.
That means paying close attention to reception areas, exam rooms and treatment areas in your practice and how they connect with each other. Get it right and you’ll ease traffic flow for seamless movement around your practice. But get it wrong and you’ll create time-consuming bottlenecks that will send your productivity diving.
Here’s what you need to consider when designing the floor plan of your veterinary clinic:
While it’s tempting to allocate more floor space to your exam and treatment rooms, don’t skimp on the size of your reception area. Clients arriving with cumbersome pet carriers or large dogs need room to move, and the more space you can provide the less stressed your clients and their pets will be – and that means fewer dramas your receptionist will need to deal with. Also consider providing a separate space for outgoing clients to settle their accounts so they don’t slow down the check-in process.
You must consider the flow of patients when designing your floor plan. Ask yourself how your clients will move from the reception area to the exam rooms, and then back to the reception area. Wide hallways are a must as a starting point, but also consider implementing a one-way hallway system with different routes to and from the reception area so incoming and outgoing patients don’t clash in a crowded hallway.
Multi-tasking is the aim of the game when it comes to exam rooms. Save space by building storage into exam tables, which will also keep the necessary equipment at the fingertips of your veterinary staff to stop them having to leave the room to gather the diagnostic tools they need. Built-in cabinetry around the perimeter of the room will also help keep exam rooms organised, but also allocate plenty of open space to allow the free movement of your larger patients.
Busier practices can benefit from specialised treatment stations that optimise workflow with a task-focused approach. For example, providing a treatment station exclusively for emergency cases will not only ensure all the most commonly used equipment will be immediately at hand, but will also prevent disruption to other practice operations with additional treatment areas free to operate as usual.
Organisation is the key to maximising your workflow. That is, all your team should know where everything is and be able to easily access it when they need to. Opting for built-in cabinetry in your storage areas will eliminate clutter and help you keep all your tools and equipment organised.
Investing some time and thought in the workflow of your veterinary practice during the design phase will pay off with a boost to your productivity that will keep your clients, staff and bank account happy.
Cassin & Sons specialises in custom veterinary fit outs with more than 27 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Call our friendly team on 1300 122 774 to find out what we can do for you.