Small floor plan changes could bring big returns for medical groups

By Shannon Geis, MA
October 10, 2017
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The typical medical office is easy to imagine: front-office staff behind a desk, a waiting room for patients, small exam rooms and individual offices for providers.

“Usually what [practices] suffer from is a lack of exam rooms, and that is a reason why things get bottled up, and patients often sit in waiting rooms and other areas in the office waiting to be brought into an exam room,” says Nick Fabrizio, PhD, FACMPE, FACHE, principal consultant, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group, in the most recent episode of the MGMA Small Talk podcast.

Fabrizio explains that some simple changes to the office floor plan can make a big difference in improving patient care and lowering costs. “Oftentimes, when we are looking at space, we create areas because we think it works best and that is not necessarily what is best for the patient,” he says.

For example, Fabrizio mentions that spaces for nonclinical activities — including individual provider offices and large staff areas — limit the number of patients the practice can see and makes it hard to a practice to expand. “What they really need is more clinical space,” he says.

Listen to the full episode to find out what kinds of design changes a practice can use to improve both patient care and the bottom line.

Learn more about considerations you should make when designing your medical practice in Fabrizio’s article for the September issue of MGMA Connection magazine, “Medical office designs of the future: Thinking of the customer.

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Shannon Geis, MA, Staff writer/editor, MGMA

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