The primary care community clinic is evolving with new technology, new care models, and new reimbursement standards. These changes are impacting the way patients choose to receive care and, in turn, the way we design clinics to offer increased patient choices.

For more than 20 years as a healthcare interior designer, I have observed, and in part helped shape, changes in the patient experience through informed design.

Now with the publication of Modern Clinic Design: Strategies for an Era of Change by Wiley, colleagues Gary Nyberg, Douglas Whiteaker, and I hope to share insight with healthcare organizations and fellow designers on planning clinics that promote change for an improved patient experience.

The patient experience is at the core of all good healthcare design. From check-in to check-out, every aspect of clinic design impacts the patient experience. Yet we can’t assume that today’s clinic module will satisfy tomorrow’s patient needs. Rather than automatically visiting a clinic when sick, patients are finding health service alternatives, including telemedicine, walk-in micro-clinics, employee health centers, wellness centers, and home care.

But the clinic is not going away anytime soon. Outpatient services will continue to increase in the future. So what will the clinic look like in five years?

Flexibility and adaptability will be key design considerations as the paradigm constantly shifts. The most successful clinics will address the increasing cycles of change.

Over the next several blogs, I’ll evaluate the clinic of today and tomorrow and discuss how healthcare designers can partner with healthcare organizations to shape that future by embracing change. I invite your input along the way.