It’s easy to dismiss the space we inhabit as unimportant. We grow so familiar to the layout of our desk, our office, our workplace, that we can become blinkered to the importance of design and architecture in altering our moods and opinions. The reality is, though, that architecture can make a great difference to how we feel, how we are seen by others, and how a space is valued. Completely aside from the medical aspects of operating your own surgery, one must also consider the business side – and one of the best investments you can make is through the use of an architect to design your medical space.
An architecturally sound surgery can help doctor-patient relationships. Many patients fear a visit to the doctor or dentist: it’s been shown that in rare cases the mere sight of a white coat leads to an increase in blood pressure. When patients fear consultations they will avoid visiting- and paying- their local doctor or dentist. Small medical problems are also more likely to become large ones in these circumstances. It’s therefore in all doctors’ best interests to provide a comfortable, relaxing environment for their patients. It’s been shown that room design, from ceiling height to décor choice, can have a profound effect on an individuals’ mood. The details are complex, and only a qualified architect can manipulate these techniques to create a non-threatening and welcoming environment. An architecturally designed surgery puts clients at ease, leading to a consistent and healthy doctor-patient relationship.
Doctors and dentists survive and thrive by their reputations. Just as you judge an expensive restaurant upon entering by its appearance, others will judge your surgery by the same standard. A client will not return to a surgery that looks like an abattoir, and contemporaries will not refer their patients to a surgery that resembles a log cabin. The key word here is professionalism, striking the balance between utilitarian openness and comfortable privacy. It’s a fine line, and not one which you as a doctor can be expected to negotiate. Architects are the experts, and they can preserve and build upon your professional reputation.
Issue of resale and succession
Finally comes the issue of resale and succession. In inner-city areas, townhouses become surgeries, and surgeries become houses. Although it can be a difficult thought to entertain, one must realise that at some point, all premises will be sold on. It’s in an owner’s best interests to make sure that their medical space maintains its value and resale potential. Again, the best way to achieve this is to use an architect. Whether you are wanting to maintain or alter the design of your surgery, the easiest and most effective means of doing so is through an architect. Architectural expertise can maintain resale value for the day when you decide to move on.
Doctors, through referrals and recommendations, understand the notion that tasks should be left to the experts. When it comes to creating a professional medical space which is acceptable to patients, contemporaries, future buyers, and most importantly, yourself, only architects can provide the experts’ touch.