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Live from the 2012 Hospital Design Conference: How to do more with less in your veterinary practice


Learn about four options that will save your veterinary hospital space and money.

The time has come for smaller, more efficient floor plans, says veterinary architect Dan Chapel, AIA. He says veterinarians must be frugal coming out of the recession and make every expensive square inch count. It's essential to build rooms to serve multiple purposes. Make your exam room serve double or triple duty and consider these four additions that will actually subtract space from your floor plan.

1. Resource room. This area can serve as a staff lounge or break room. It can also be used as a conference room for meetings. Add a couple book shelves and it can be a great library for clients and staff, Chapel says.

2. Mini-treatment stations. If you set up areas for staff to perform simpler procedures you can reduce the size of your treatment rooms. "That way doctors could remove sutures out of the back of exam rooms," Chapel says.

3. Express check out. If clients are able to check out in an exam room, this will eliminate the need for a huge cashier desk up front. "It will extend the time pet owners spend in exams but clients love the convenience," Chapel says. Plus it prevents congestion in the front of the clinic.

4. Free-standing kiosk. Installing computer kiosks throughout the hospital can eliminate the need for multiple offices. Chapel recommends putting these work stations on wheels to further increase flexibility in your practice.

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