Q&A: How to renovate while running your practice


Our clinic could use a fresh look. How can we update the facility without interrupting our daily operations?

It's important to stay open while you renovate, says Mark Hafen, AIA, architect at Animal Arts/Gates Hafen Cochrane in Boulder, Colo. Here are some tips for working around the mess:

Bite off a bit at a time. If you can, try to complete the work in phases, either room by room, or even task by task, such as installing flooring in a room first, painting the walls second. Wrap up tasks as best as possible before moving on to new ones.

Do as much as you can off site. If you're going to refinish or build new cabinets, retail shelving, or benches, have the work done away from the clinic and then brought in. This minimizes interruptions and allows you to focus on your patients.

Be flexible. Consider offering services in your office, an adjacent lease space, or a trailer set up in the parking lot. Exam rooms can function as offices, and cages can be parked in the hallway.

Schedule smart. If you lose an exam room due to renovations, you can extend your clinic's hours to accommodate all of your appointments. While this may be inconvenient for some clients and team members, often they'll be so excited about the changes that you'll actually see revenue grow during construction.

Some renovations may seem disruptive to your daily workflow, but you'll be surprised at how much your clinic can sustain. Follow a phased plan and you'll be better than normal in no time.

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