Medical office buildings are changing; they were originally designed to care for patients in one-size-fits-all rooms. However, contemporary medical clinics now have to take into account ‘shared medical appointments’ and other similar approaches.

There are a number of ways in which medical office design is adapting to meet the changing needs of both the patient and the provider:

  • Buildings are more complex, with the need for collaboration apparent in multiple interconnections between adjacent areas and shared spaces.
  • As women make the majority of healthcare decisions, medical office buildings are changing their environment to become more comparable to hotels and spas.
  • The developmental model is being refined; buildings were designed previously in an effort to optimize the building for federal reimbursement. Healthcare Construction Expert, Teresa Wilson said “Facility licensing is not an issue if you’re only talking about in space with a lot of [unrelated] conditions. Today, though, the onus is on these organizations to provide wellness care, which creates a stronger incentive for putting the whole service component in one location”.
  • Buildings are becoming more sustainable; incorporating showers, bike lockers, HVAC systems that reduce energy consumption and even electric vehicle charging stations.
  • They are situated in areas that are easier for patients to access; for example, shopping centres.
  • Modern technology allows for greater interaction between patients and providers, using less space. For example, self-service kiosks, sensors that determine when exam rooms are empty, and technologies that track patients within the building.
  • Greater efficiency is paramount; medical office buildings are built with an emphasis on leanness, even removing private areas for individual doctors in some cases.