We are regularly asked advice on laying out a chiropractic office space to get the most out of the area available. We have found there are two main areas you need to focus on: Understanding the function for your space, and determining square footage before you look for a space.

Understand the function of your space

Having a well-planned efficient and effective office layout will save you time and help you make money. The benefits of this include:

  • Maximize the usable space making your money work harder for you.
  • Produce efficiency with how easily you, your staff and patients flow through your space, reducing wasted time and maximizing the number of patients you can see
  • Make their visit more efficient and pleasant, through the ease of flow in the space, thereby enhancing their overall experience.

The initial component in the plan of your office space is to know all the functions that you want to take place in the space. The next component would be to know the sequence in which those functions will happen. This information will begin to shape the “flow” of your office. In the design industry we call this process “programming”, in which you would elaborate on the details of your practice. From these details a “bubble” diagram would be sketched out. Each bubble represents the rough shape and size of an area. The bubbles are arranged to show the primary and secondary adjacency to the other areas, indicating the optimal flow through the space.

Blog 2.1-Bubble diagram_red

Once these components are determined, a space plan can begin to be created. A space plan includes more exact square footages for each area in the space. It is drawn to scale with walls, doors and space defining elements, all in line with the concept created by the bubble diagram.

Blog 2.2- space plan sketch

In this stage of the process it usually takes multiple space plans to best fit the functions in their appropriate flow into the existing space. For example, you may have determined in the bubble diagram that you wanted both your waiting area and your pre-adjustment warm up area directly adjacent to the reception or check-in counter. If the space is a long narrow rectangle, you may not have room for the areas to all fit across from one another. Based on what you have determined as your primary and secondary adjacencies, the reception center may be best between the two areas so the Chiropractic Assistant can still have visual access to both areas. You may walk in the front door into the waiting area; have the reception in the center and the warm-up area just beyond the reception, on the other side.

Determine your square footage prior to searching for a space

It is ideal to be able to determine your flow and square footage needs prior to the search for a space rather than finding a space and trying to alter your ideal flow to make it fit. Though you may or may not be able to complete the most efficient layout of your space on your own, you can start the process by brainstorming. First, make a list of the services you would like to offer. Consider the rooms or areas you would like to perform each service, how long each service will take, and approximately how much space is needed to perform each service. Then make a note of what each service needs to be near, especially if it needs to be directly next to another area to function appropriately. With this, the layout of your space can begin and the square footage requirements can be determined. With this information you could employ the help of professionals to fine tune the layout and give you a space plan to scale, which would help you more accurately determine your square footage needs so you can begin to search for a space that fits the flow of your practice.

 

Carolyn Boldt

With over 30 years of experience, Carolyn has gained complete understanding of every aspect of the commercial interior industry. Her experience includes turnkey, full-service architectural interior design; extensive program development studies (PDS), feasibility studies, design programs , planning studies and space planning; development of facility standards and master plans; creative impact statements for retail, hospitality and corporate; graphic identity packages; sustainable design; as well as complete facility start-ups and relocation management.

She has a Bachelors of Science – Interior Design, University of Texas at Austin, 1980, is a Registered Designer, a LEED Accredited Professional, NCIDQ Certified, and Professional Member of IIDA/International Interior Design Association and GAIDP/Georgia Association of Professional Interior Designers.