Clinic Design Recommendations: The Design Phase


During the pre-design and design phases of a healthcare facility building project, certain important aspects should be taken into consideration. Clinics are typically separate entities from hospitals, but often times they are attached. Because these facilities treat outpatients, there are certain guidelines that are recommended. To say there is an abundance of things to consider when designing a clinic would be a gross understatement. To put the complexity of this project into perspective, below we’ve listed just a fraction of the many factors that make up a well-designed clinic.

Patient Cycle – Access

  • Provide information and indicate locations in multiple languages, but use simple terms instead of medical terms. Use universal symbols and text, as well as numbers, when designing signs in a multicultural setting.
  • Consider informational kiosks that will highlight the wellness initiatives in the lobby and check-in space.
  • Design the clinic as a one-stop shop for dental, X-rays, laboratory, pharmacy, and medical.
  • Design a separate exit and entrance for mental health patients.
  • Create a welcoming environment, as this can positively influence the surroundings. Improve amenities can sometimes be as simple as adding calming distractions, such as plants and water features. Design hallway widths and stairway capacities so that they are compliant with standards and regulations for different building purposes.
  • Create entryways that are safe and well-lit
  • Provide connections and access to natural elements, such as courtyards or terraces.
  • Make use of zoning to separate staff, treatment, and public functions .
  • Ensure that furniture easily fits into the building and is able to be rearranged.

Patient Cycle – Examination and Consulting

  • Design exam rooms that will include multiple caregivers.
  • Ensure that enough illumination is available for tasks that require ample light.
  • Make work patterns more efficient by carefully considering ergonomics and layout that will help.
  • Rooms need visual privacy, so take into account the sight lines in and out of each room.
  • Reduce environmental stressors by creating a welcoming environment for all patients, their family, and staff members.
  • Design connections that can easily be taken down and mounted on doors, windows, and walls.
  • Design floors that can handle extensive dead loads, such as storage areas.
  • Incorporate various group care rooms in the final facility design.
  • Maximize unused space in exam rooms with the design. For example, one method is to incorporate chamfered corners.
  • Provide more than enough space for patients’ families within the procedure and exam rooms.
  • Standardize the placement of supplies and equipment within all exam and treatment rooms.

To transform the environment of the primary care area in a healthcare facility, you need the use of several design strategies, which is where the above design recommendations originated. This will provide patient-centered care, the current focus point in all community care centers and primary care clinics.


Retrieved January, 2012, from


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