Moving Your Medical Practice: A How-To Guide
Medical practice managers often find themselves bogged down in supervising day-to-day operational details. It’s not easy to carve out time to analyze your practice’s big-picture functionality, but when you do, it’s an opportunity to think about how to build flexibility and cost savings into your space plan, now and down the road.
And a really good time to plan for flexible space usage is when you’re planning to move to new medical offices. You have wide-ranging space uses – from diagnostic equipment and labs, to patient files and administrative offices – and those uses can alter over time as the practice grows, and whenever technology changes. Rather than having built-in cabinetry, you can plan for changing needs by installing modular cabinets and work surfaces. These mix-and-match cabinets can be removed and reconfigured with minimal materials and labor expenses, saving you the cost of expensive new cabinetry as needs change.
Moving to a new office is also an opportunity to consider the future growth of patient files. Even with the growth of electronic medical records, paper files are still a major storage issue. Consider including a movable high-density storage system in your plan. You’ll reduce your storage footprint by as much as 50%, with extra capacity for future growth.
To make your office move successful, ask yourself these six questions. The answers will guide your plan:
- Is your practice’s brand image prestige-driven or price-driven?
- Do your patients have accessibility issues?
- Will your staff and patients need dedicated parking?
- How important is public transportation accessibility?
- What’s the top priority – location, price per square foot, or infrastructure?
- How can you design your space plan for your current needs and for the future?
Writing in Medical Economics, commercial real estate expert Eric Kahn discusses how the first five of these questions will affect your decisions. For answers to the sixth question, space planning and storage consultants will steer you in the optimal direction for a successful move. Put together your team of experts – real estate, design, and storage – and your plan will come together too.
Photo © xy – Fotolia