The design of healthcare facilities is a representation of the healthcare physician themselves. Medical Office Design can leave a major impression on your patients, which is why they should be designed to fit there. Design can also enhance the business of your office. From the size of the waiting area to the size of the examination rooms, it’s important to optimize your practice`s productivity in the design phase.
Medical Office Design Accessibility ADA
ADA stands for the Americans With Disabilities Act. Accessibility is a major factor in the design of healthcare facilities. In addition to normal ADA clearances that would be necessary for any project, Medical Offices tend to have equipment that needs to be accessible to the patients. From scales to beds, there are clearance regulations for all.
- Doors – 32” is the minimum clearance for a door allowed for medical offices. 36″ doors are better. Maneuvering clearance and accessible hardware is required for doors. Doors are also required to require less than 5 pounds of force to open.
- Ramps – if your office is not fully on ground level, a ramp with a maximum slope of 1:12 would be required. Otherwise Elevators or lifts will be needed.
- Corridors –a minimum clearance of 36” is required, but varies based on doorways along the corridor and egress requirements.
- Clear Floor Space – A minimum of 30” x 48” is required for all spaces. Next to scales, examination tables, and all other machines.
- Examination Room Floor Space – 5’ turning radius for wheelchairs is required inside the examination rooms.
- Examination Tables – At least 1 accessible exam table is required.
- Bathrooms – at least 1 ADA accessible bathroom is required. All fixtures in the bathroom have ADA clearances that they will need to adhere to. Grab bars are required around the toilet. A 5’ turning radius for wheelchairs is also required
Each examination room needs to be properly ventilated. Therefore, it needs to have either a window or a mechanical exhaust. Privacy can be a concern for ground floor offices, so a mechanical exhaust can sometimes be the better option.
A major aspect of design a healthcare facility is interior design. Examination room layouts often need to incorporate the location of sinks, soap/paper towel dispensers, wall mounted medical equipment, hazardous waste bins, and more. Sourcing proper equipment and designing an accessible space for takes time.
FLOW AND LAYOUT
It is important to develop a well-designed flow and arrangement of your floor plan. From examination rooms, to private offices, to reception and waiting areas. This can aid in maximizing accessibility for clients and maximizing productivity for your staff.
VARIATIONS BASED ON TYPE OF FACILITIES
From dermatologists to optometrists there is vast variety of healthcare professionals. The facilities that they operate out of need to cater to the patients they have and the needs of their specific field. Accessibility cannot be an option for not to treat a patient, we should all have access to proper healthcare.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Medical Office Design.
I wish you the best of luck with your project and I hope this was helpful. Please post questions or comments below and feel free to contact us directly if you wish to discuss a specific project.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.