In today’s value-based care environment, equipment and exam room layouts in ambulatory care have evolved into strategic components of the delivery of care. Both are codependent on each other to collectively help enhance the overall quality of care provided and outcomes realized. For that reason, equipment and layout should factor into any facility or exam room design considerations or discussions.

The right design approach, one where people and experiences are top-of-mind, can create an ambulatory care environment conducive to achieving better outcomes through enhanced patient/caregiver experience and interaction at the point of care.

As value-based care continues to reshape healthcare and impact the exam room by placing more emphasis on outcomes and patient/caregiver experiences, it is even more vital to ensure an effective, patient-centered clinical environment that is conducive to the delivery of high quality care.

The key to success is adopting a patient-centered approach that views the exam rooms and equipment as part of the point of care ecosystem. The point of care ecosystem encompasses the direct interaction between patients and caregivers, as well as processes, equipment and other interactions within the practice or clinic that could impact the patient experience and efficiency levels.

Adopting a patient-centered approach provides a framework in which healthcare organizations can make equipment and layout decisions that can help ensure a balanced approach that enhances experiences and increases efficiency.

Consider these ten important questions that can be asked about equipment and the point of care space to ensure people and experiences are top-of-mind during any new design project in ambulatory care.

  1. How will the equipment and rooms be used?
  2. Are the proposed equipment and point of care space the right fit for our patient population and staff?
  3. Are the proposed equipment and workflow specifically designed for our clinical space?
  4. How will the proposed equipment and workflow impact patient/caregiver interactions, patient/staff satisfaction and clinical outcomes?
  5. How will the proposed equipment and point of care space change/enhance/co-exist with our current workflows and configurations?
  6. Can the proposed equipment and workflow be standardized across our healthcare network?
  7. Are the proposed equipment and workflow designed for and meet applicable government regulations and industry standards?
  8. Do the proposed equipment and workflow offer the flexibility to address our future needs or growth strategies?
  9. Do the proposed equipment and workflow allow for easy IT/technology integration?
  10. Will the equipment and technology provider be a true partner, working closely with us to identify opportunities and determine return on investment?

Changes in the healthcare industry are placing greater importance on experiences, interactions and outcomes in the ambulatory space. By asking the right questions when it comes to room layout and equipment decisions, healthcare organizations can help ensure each are considered equally. This will provide a solid foundation to help healthcare teams focus on the fundamentals of effective patient encounters and quality care.

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