medical office design

5 Medical Office Design Tips Aimed At Patient Comfort

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The design and layout of a medical office can provide some relief from the stress that patients experience when visiting the doctor's office. A medical office or other clinical setting can feel more welcoming and calming if it is designed with thought and intention. 

Beginning in your waiting room, your clinic's interior design and decor should reflect a space that is both convenient for staff and comfortable for patients. It is important that everything flows smoothly. The more comfortable and secure your patients feel, the more likely they are to come in willingly for preventative treatments.

Patient comfort and convenience should play as important of a role in your medical office design as functionality. If you are a doctor that is considering a new office space for your medical facilities, here are a few tips to incorporate into your design aimed at promoting patient comfort.

Welcoming Waiting Rooms

In this area, patients get their first impression of the office and are able to relax before their appointment begins.

The addition of TVs and Wi-Fi to your waiting rooms allows you to create a feel that is as close to home as possible, and will enable your waiting room to feel comfortable and inviting. Despite the fact that your patients may have come to your clinic for help, they do not want to feel as though they are in a clinical setting.

Many of your patients are already feeling ill or are in pain, and creating a calm and reassuring space in your waiting room by adding soft lighting elements can make patient wait times less uncomfortable. Air purifying plants and other greenery can promote a healing environment by bringing natural elements inside the building.

Add comfortable, modern chairs to your space along the perimeter to make the entire space feel less intimidating and more open. Make sure you maintain a sense of personal space at all times by keeping your seating appropriately spaced. 

Reduce Noise Pollution

In medical office design, well-insulated walls are crucial because they affect patients' experience. Patients can be calmed down when noise pollution is reduced inside and outside the building walls.

It is imperative that the design of your clinic includes appropriate soundproofing between exam rooms and communal spaces in order to ensure the privacy of your patients.

Your patients won’t feel at ease talking to you about their medical concerns, if they were just listening to you with your last patient on the other side of the wall. 

Free Flow Design

It is crucial to design and lay out your medical office in a functional way to avoid traffic jams, which is crucial to the overall flow of the workplace.

Circular traffic through the clinic would enable patients and doctors to access the exam rooms and exit the reception area via an alternative route. Having this layout reduces congestion in hallways and creates an efficient and flexible workspace for your whole team.

In addition, it prevents patients from having too much contact with other employees when they are sick. Maintaining a proper flow of traffic can also help to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of patients.


Medical records are personal under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, so incorporating adequate patient privacy needs to be a priority.

To prevent other patients from seeing these private records, it's a good idea to put space between the waiting area and the registration desk. A floor plan that restricts the view from the waiting area to the treatment rooms should be incorporated into your design.

Ensuring that your treatment rooms are appropriately spaced, all-inclusive with treatment protocols, and are properly insulated for reduced sound pollution should be a priority. Sound bleed between your office, the waiting room, and your treatment rooms should be minimized as much as possible to maintain patient privacy. 

Color Psychology

The psychology of color will play a crucial role in the comfort of your patients and the productivity of your staff. There is no doubt that color promotes a positive attitude, and this detail can sometimes be overlooked by medical practices.

There should be a focus on using a gentle and calming color scheme when it comes to designing a room in a clinical setting. For example, the use of sophisticated neutral tones, dusty blue, and sage green has been proven to improve patient experience by reducing anxiety in a clinical setting. 

In your role as a physician, one of the most important duties in your professional life is to make sure your patients are healthy and well taken care of. It is vital that when you design a new medical clinic, your interior design takes into account factors that will have a positive impact on patient experience. Your patients can feel more secure and comfortable if you create an environment in your medical facility that is safe, calm, and efficient. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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