Designing an award-winning animal hospital

dvm360dvm360 September 2021
Volume 52

Thoughtful design choices focused on functionality enable this veterinary hospital to stand out among the crowd.

You never get a second chance at a first impression. With that in mind, have you considered what the state of your veterinary hospital says about you?

While there is no substitute for medical knowledge, compassion, and experience, a hospital may be communicating much more through its design. From the reception area to the treatment rooms, and everywhere in between, a hospital’s layout, flow and aesthetics tell a story.

Isn't it time to write a story that you and your staff can be proud of?

Fix the flaws

For the team at GoodVets Lee's Summit in Missouri, top of mind when designing its new veterinary hospital was to create a practical and beautiful workspace that enhanced the team’s ability to provide optimal patient care.

“Flow is always important,” explains Antonio DeMarco, DVM, president of medical operations and medical director. “An inefficient layout can really cause frustration. Instead, we want clients to enjoy a gorgeous space and staff who want to come to work every day because of the aesthetics and practicality.”

When looking to design a hospital that combined efficiency, technology and style, the team at GoodVets—with locations in Chicago, Kansas City, and Nashville—put their trust in Midmark.

DeMarco explains. “From the color palette to the designs, our teams worked together to create amazing styles and concepts that stay true to ergonomic ideas.”

Award-winning design

GoodVets Lee's Summit was recently presented with the merit award at dvm360’s 2021 Hospital Design Competition. The annual competition honors the most attractive, efficient, and customer-friendly veterinary hospitals in the United States. Each award recipient is decided upon by a jury of experts who evaluate the strengths and standout features of each practice.

“Anytime you win an award, it proves to you—not just internally but externally—that your ideas make sense beyond your scope and thoughts,” DeMarco says. “It proves you right!”

GoodVets began their design journey by turning to Midmark for its expertise in combining technology and style. Midmark is a clinical environmental design company that enables a better care experience in animal health.

Leveraging their expertise in the clinical space, their design technology, and a line of superior products, Midmark worked closely with GoodVets to produce a show-stopping hospital with enhanced functionality. The result is a sleek, modern facility with spacious treatment rooms that are impressing staff and clients alike.

“Midmark brings a unique perspective to animal care,” explains Ryan Whitley, Midmark Animal Health’s territory portfolio manager in the Midwest.

"We understand how teams operate within the clinical space. With that knowledge, we can help them avoid costly mistakes that put them in spaces that don't support the way they work."

Technology to make dreams come true

Midmark uses clinical design technology in its renderings to provide clients with a clear picture of what they can expect. The company’s proprietary software allows its designers to help hospital owners configure every area of their facility, exploring a variety of room designs all in one place.

“Visualizing in 3D helped tremendously. When looking at 2D pictures and graph paper renderings, it’s difficult to imagine how a space feels in its entirety. The 3D imagery makes everything more realistic, helping us visualize workflow and make our decisions,” DeMarco explains.

“I do believe it prevents buyers’ remorse. You do not have to wait to see a product; you get to see it prior to completion. This can save both time and money.”

The right equipment makes a difference

Midmark worked hand-in-hand with GoodVets to meet the hospital’s specific needs while highlighting common pain points and design aspects that clients face.

“We often see clinicians who do not build spaces to support their workflow,” Whitley explains. “They plan and build the space, then try to fit the equipment and workflows into the space. What happens? They are forced to adapt their workflows or the positioning of their equipment to be able to work within the space, often at the expense of staff efficiency or ergonomics.”

For GoodVets, selecting the right cabinetry was also important to creating a more efficient hospital. “The sleek design and quality of Midmark Synthesis® cabinetry allowed us to achieve better organization,” DeMarco explains.

“This may seem silly, but the soft-close feature of the cabinets is my favorite. I am a notorious ‘leave a cabinet open’ doctor. My staff always shut doors behind me—the soft-close feature never startles our patients. It’s great!”

Midmark’s attention to detail is part of its reputation. “I call Midmark the gold standard,” says Nicole Lewis, a territory manager at MWI Animal Health. “When you talk about different pieces of equipment, I always like to go to them first because of their line of service and warranties.”

Dr. DeMarco remains in awe of the creativity achieved within the space, all without sacrificing functionality. “It can be the most beautifully-designed space, but if efficiency is interrupted by it, I don’t want it. Balance is at the core of how we build and design our hospitals.”

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