If you own a medical centre, dental clinic, chiropractic clinic or other health care practice on the Sunshine Coast, and you’re thinking of moving, building or refurbishing, here are some points to consider to ensure your new practice not only looks stunning, that it also stays within your budget.
1. The Location of Your Medical Centre or Doctor’s Surgery
The location of your medical centre or practice is obviously incredibly important. It needs to be in a convenient location for your patients, it needs to ‘fit’ with the other businesses around it, and it needs to meet Sunshine Coast Council and Queensland Government requirements.
Here are other elements to consider:
- Handy to public transport and easy to access. Regulations may stipulate that a certain amount of on-site parking with the provision of a dedicated space for ambulance and handicapped parking.
- Visibility from the street: is the practice or at least the signage easy to see from the road?
- Hydraulic, mechanical, fire and electrical services
- Look closely at your current space requirements and see how you can more effectively utilise the existing space.
- Consider extending your practice by securing additional tenancies next door .
2. Functional Requirements
What atmosphere would you like it to create for your patients? How do you want patients to feel when they visit?
Pay close attention to the profile of your patients. Are most of your patients new families, retired people, students, migrants, executives, for instance? The design feel and the facilities that you include will differ for each target group.
- Waiting Room
- Kids play area
- Consulting & Treatment Rooms
- Office area for filing and administration
- Staff room or area
3. Design for Functionality and Traffic
Now think traffic flow. Which areas will get the most traffic and how do you maximise traffic flow in these areas? Here are some factors to consider
- The most practical area to locate hydraulic, mechanical, electrical and fire equipment and fittings.
- Noise minimisation
- Accessibility to treatment rooms for Ambulance drop-off and pick-up
- A design that facilitates staff movement and patient movement
- Potential for growth
- Easy interaction between doctors and patients in each room
4. Councils and Regularity Bodies
Factor in the Sunshine Coast Council building and zoning requirements and requirements from local authorities requirements and medical industry standards.
These might include:
- Australian Standards for Design and Construction
- Building access for people with disabilities
- The number of toilets required
- Requirements for health care practices
- RACGP standards
5. What look & feel do you want your practice to create?
Once you are clear on your vision for your practice and the needs of your target audience, as well as all the factors mentioned so far in this article, spend time looking at the latest trends, different designs, furniture and equipment that create the ‘look and feel’ that you want.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What feel matches the suburb or location?
- What matches the financial position of your patients?
- What are your competitors doing?
- What compliments the character of the building?
- What compliments the adjacent shops if you’re located within a shopping centre?
6. Refurbish, Buy or Lease?
Does your existing building offer you the space, the design flexibility, and the location that is a match for your dream for your clinic.
- Should you lease or buy another premises in a more suitable location and size and refurbish it? (Check out our FREE Leas vs Buy vs Refurbish Guide here)
- Should you lease or buy another medical centre that already has the facilities and design you’re looking for?
These are all questions that Oceanwave Medical Centre at Currimundi considered before they found an old 1980’s appliance store and decided to engage us to refurbish it into a stunning state-of-the-art medical centre.
We worked with them closely right from the start to help them identify what was possible but also potential zoning, and infrastructure considerations they needed to factor in to get the results they wanted.
If you want to upgrade your existing practice or build a new one, there are a number of things to consider that will affect the final outcome and also your budget. By getting us involved in the early stages, we can work closely with you to advise you on the construction, development, design and planning elements that will deliver the result you’re looking for.