This week I got to tour the completed work of one of six medical clinics we designed this past year. Yes, SIX. It's been a busy year! This is certainly one of my favorites and it made me think about the unique issues we deal with when designing for the healthcare space.
The typical medical office space we design is around 3,000 square feet & neatly sits within a typical neighborhood retail center. Ideally the space allows for what we call a 'racetrack' design. This allows us to arrange exam rooms & their support spaces around a circular corridor, typically with a health practitioner's office at the center. This promotes visual control and one-way circulation when needed (like this past year when dealing with Covid).
While every healthcare provider is different, we find a general rule of thumb is to have three exam rooms + one consult room per practitioner. In addition to these spaces, you have the lab, med storage, offices and staff areas to accommodate. Finally, the practice specialty will dictate the size and number of other spaces. For instance, physical/occupational therapy clinics will require larger shared spaces to house therapy equipment. For our asthma/allergy center we designed this year, space for pulmonary testing took precedence.