Floor Plan For My Solo Ophthalmology Practice

In order to submit an offer, I need to know how much tenant improvements will cost.  Since I’m working with a completely empty space this time, I needed a floorplan first. The landlord relayed to his architect my space requirements, per my Space post. It took about 10 days for the architect to come back with a design. I didn’t like a few things on the first draft, so I played architect and revised a couple arrangements. We went through two drafts before I signed the lease. Overall, I’m very happy with my floorplan, and am quite surprised how efficient it is. My floorplan ended up to be 1,508 usuable sf (1,689 rentable sf).

This is my final floorplan.  Unfortunately, I deleted the original draft, so I can’t post it for you to see. However, the main difference was that the procedure room was originally located where the exam room near the waiting area currently is. I didn’t want the procedure room so close to the waiting room because I didn’t want people outside hearing screaming. 😉 Of course, no one really ever screams during minor ophthalmic procedures, but you never know. I also thought that an exam room there would provide better flow. The other difference is that the office and laser room were originally one large “L” shaped office because of the structural pillar (small rectangle in procedure room) that could not be moved or changed. Instead of an odd shaped large office, I thought it would be better to have a small 6′ x 10′ room that I could use for lasers or  storage. I don’t really need a large office, and if I end up hiring a manager, I plan to share my office with him or her. I know that 9′ x 10′ isn’t the biggest office for two people, but if I’m willing to make it work, my manager better find a way to make it work as well! I think the other benefit of splitting the office into a laser room and a smaller office is that a window becomes exposed to the hallway, allowing natural light into the office.

Let’s go over some of my reasoning for this final floorplan. First of all, I want two waiting areas: one main waiting area and one dilating area. I want to minimize patient movement and traffic, especially for people with mobility issues. The reason I put in an exam room next to the waiting area is twofold. First, when I don’t have a tech, the patient will walk the shortest distance to this exam room from either waiting area. Also, I’ll be walking less from the front desk to the exam room. As soon as a patient leaves the room, the patient gets directed right toward the dilating area. If I get busy enough to hire a tech, this room will become the technician workup area.

At this point, I will probably be working the three exam lanes further down the office. I could grab the patient from the dilating area directly without running into my technician in the hallway. I might even consider making one of the closer rooms into a diagnostic testing area so that the technician can have easy access, and I will just end up running two rooms. I could also probably convert the procedure room into another exam room as well. I might have to put in a few diagnostic equipment in the procedure room if I don’t have enough space in the one exam lane. I’ll probably put in the IOL master, A/B scan, and/or FA camera since I plan to do them myself anyway. Whatever happens, I think this floorplan allows me a lot of flexibility and options.

As for the three exam rooms adjacent to each other, I made sure that the doors were placed as close together as possible. I didn’t want to walk toward the end of each room to enter it. I know it probably saves me two seconds, but it adds up. The 10′ x 8’8″ exam lane size is probably on the smaller end, but it should be enough to fit everything in. I didn’t want to sacrifice hallway width for the sake of a bigger room. I wanted enough room for wheelchairs to go through the hallways and to rotate when entering the rooms. I’m hoping 4′ is enough.  In terms of the sink and refraction desk placement, I wanted them to lie on the wall opposite to where the door was.  I assumed that the sink and refraction desk will be 7′ long, and putting them on the wall where the door lies would make things crowded. Also, I wanted the desk to sit on my right side.  I’m right handed, and it would make it easier for me to face the patient at all times. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it that way for one of the rooms.

The office is in the way back because I’ll have the most privacy and a view. Also, it’s location won’t obstruct the flow of clinic. The procedure room and laser room is far back as well, because I probably won’t use those rooms too much, and I don’t want other patients to hear any potential sounds coming from these rooms.

You might have noticed that there is no bathroom. The bathroom will be located in the common area, which is actually pretty close to my clinic. If I put in a bathroom, it would cost more money, and it would take away from clinic space. The landlord recommended against it, since it’s a bit redundant.

So, this is what my clinic will look like.  Next time, I’ll go over getting the contractor estimate, and the basics of negotiating and hiring contractors.

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