Your practice may be growing, but that doesn’t mean you are outgrowing your space. You don’t have to move to expand your practice and make the most of it. Here are four small steps for optimizing your medical practice space for improved performance, a better patient experience and a more efficient office.


Restructure rooms.

There is no need for a major renovation here. Simply rearranging a room can make a small space feel more spacious and welcoming for patients. Brighten up a consultation space with additional lighting or soften harsh lighting. Place examination tables at an angle to free up wall space for more chairs. Using light, warm-colored paint on the walls can make it feel comfortable and airy for nervous patients.


Develop work stations.

Work stations, if designed well, can improve efficiency and strengthen staff culture. Place exam rooms close to the team’s work area to minimize the area between tasks and improve exam room visibility. Create opportunities for your team to naturally interact to cultivate a positive office atmosphere. Glass partitions allow teammates to see each other while maintaining privacy and reducing noise.


Add distractions.

Patients will take in your clinic’s surroundings and will make assumptions about the quality of care they will receive. This could potentially influence their confidence in the practice and their overall experience. For many patients, waiting rooms are a part of life. Adding simple and inexpensive details can make patients feel comfortable and peaceful rather than anxious and frustrated. With a small investment and a bit of creativity, you can make your waiting room a pleasant and positive place for your patients. You can easily give your office a pleasantly professional waiting room makeover without breaking your budget.


Encourage patient engagement.

The arrangement of your office can actually encourage patient interactions and promote eye contact. The shapes and types of desks, examination tables and chairs can work together to inspire essential communication between physician and patient. Keep in mind that if a patient can sit in a chair to speak with the physician instead of spending the entire visit on the examination table, they are more likely to feel good about their visit. Mount computers on the wall on a swivel arm and utilize laptops or other easily movable devices so your team is free to shift their positions and face patients.


We hope these tips help take your medical office space to the next level. Optimizing your space isn’t about spending a lot of money or making huge changes. Using small but smart ideas and a little creativity can change the dynamics of your practice space in a positive way. Do you have a space you’re particularly proud of? If so, share a photo on our Facebook page—we’d love to see it!

  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
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