The Importance of Medical Exam Room Design
Medical exam room design can be tricky. There are few types of occupancies that have as specific needs as those in the medical field, especially where space utilization is concerned. While a variety of different companies could be transplanted to a new office building almost anywhere and be fine, the same is not true for healthcare enterprises. In addition to all of the tools and equipment, medical offices need to have unique layouts in order to accommodate patients as well as personnel. This can be particularly true when it comes to exam rooms and other areas in outpatient facilities, clinics, and medical office buildings where patient spaces, provider spaces, treatment rooms, supply rooms and administrative areas all need occupy as small of a footprint as possible . When space is at a premium, every inch counts, and this is why the right design is critical.
The Right Doors are Vital When it comes to the Design of Medical Rooms
When thinking about designing any type of building, doors can easily be overlooked or given little consideration. After all, doors are doors, right? In the history of architecture and construction, doors have not seemed to change a whole lot. But the truth is, they have. While the traditional knob/handle swinging doors are still widely used, many desingers are beginning to realize there is a often better way to do things. Sliding barn-style doors are starting to become commonplace in offices, and medical facilities specifically can benefit from them.
What are the Advantages of Barn Doors for Medical Exam Room Design?
One of the biggest reasons medical offices should consider using barn doors for their exam rooms is because they save a lot of space. Swinging doors can be cumbersome and unless they are always shut – which of course would render the room useless – they just take up a lot of square footage with their swing path and the required approach clearances. With sliding barn doors, so much more of a room can be utilized. In addition to the door swing space, sliding doors are generally located on a corridor wall which allows better utilization of the wall space on the inside of the exam room – for cabinets, work stations or other important functionality. Safety and privacy need not be compromised when using sliding doors: Soft-closing dampers and acoustical seals are available that ensure the doors perform to the requirements of a medical space.
There are a wide range of sliding door products and hardware solutions available through AD Systems that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sliding doors can offer large clear opening widths to make areas accessible to users requiring bariatric wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility aids. Since they are top-hung, there are no tracks in the floor to create a hazard for wheelchairs, crutches or walkers. ADA compliant privacy latches, thumbturns and self-latching hardware ensure that the rooms can be secured for an additional degree of patient privacy and still be compliant.
AD Systems has a full line of sliding doors with a huge selection of optional finishes, accessories and hardware. Their design consultants can help determine the best solution for any project.