Practical Guidance Toward a Sound Investment
An honest, in-depth, introspective evaluation of your practice is the first step in selecting professional office space and is consistently not performed thoroughly. Are you receptive to new, time-saving techniques or do your prefer the time-tested, but time-consuming approaches to patient care? Do you view your staff as necessary subordinates or vital parts of a well-tuned machine? Do you perceive your office solely as a place to perform your services or do you appreciate the impact that its image has on your patients as well as the effect that its environment has on you and your staff? Honest answers to these questions will set appropriate guidelines for a sound investment.
Once you have established the core of your personal needs, based on realistic goals, you can complete the physical analysis of your practice as it relates to room quantities and sizes, equipment, staffing and patient accommodations.
We take and active role in this process through the use of our exclusive Project Cost Spread Sheet; which includes everything from soft-costs (legal, accounting, design) to construction and equipment. This is all critical to proper space accommodation and cost containment.
In today’s health care market, location selection must be grounded with reliable indicators of survival and success. The equation used to establish the sound efficacy of a location, although multifaceted, is quite simple. Fundamentally, four basic components must be evaluated.
- Accessibility: Reasonable travel distance, easy to locate and ample parking are all features that are important to ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients (and staff) alike.
- Community Support: This arena is shared by two components. The first is based on the demographic statistics of that community’s growth and direction. The second encompasses your ability as a professional to interact positively with community activities; spiritual, altruistic and personal.
- Competition: The evaluation of this component is somewhat complex. The existence of a practice in your specialty doesn’t preclude its success. On the other hand, the absence of your specialty doesn’t ensure its success. Critical analysis is key in this step of the demographic assessment.
- Referral Base: This interactive step in the demographic analysis process often becomes the lifeblood of a practice, and must be weighed accordingly; be they personal or professional.
The determination of the quantity of square-footage needed for a health care practice is best established with a mathematical equation which must include: consideration for growth; clinical, administrative, and utility storage; wall thicknesses; and access (corridor) space, besides the obvious room requirements.
Feasibility of Build-Out
It must be ascertained if any “inconveniences” exist and subsequently confirmed as solvable. Load-bearing partitions, utility chases and window placements are common “obstructions” that must be identified and analyzed for adaptation to a functional office layout.
Practicality of Build-Out
As is the case with most physical change in a health care facility, “almost” anything can be done…. But, at what cost? It is imperative that this final analysis be made to determine the value of each change in order to qualify as an “investment” rather than an “expense”.