Smart moves to declutter, prettify your practice


Ive put cabinetry, shelving, flooring and paint changes to work in new veterinary hospitals, but these same back-room touch-ups could work for any clinic anywhere.

I often recommend practice owners take a client's-eye view of their practices, but what about those behind-the-scenes locations? Think of treatment areas, kennels, runs, break rooms-you know, all the places your team members spend their time.

In the photos on the following pages, I focus on improving looks and removing clutter. Where could you improve your back room? After a review, make a list of suggestions for improvements, future repairs or alterations that would help fulfill your practice goals. This list will assist you, the practitioner, in prioritizing minor projects that will greatly improve your hospital's function and appearance.



>>> Practices spend time and money decorating client areas, but it's not just clients who deserve nice rooms. Doctors and staff spend eight to 10 hours a day in medical and support space, and studies show the benefits of comfortable, well-designed workspaces. Check out the color scheme in a surgery suite (L) at All Valley Animal Care Center in Meridian, Idaho, and the high-contrast look of the staff break room (R) at Veterinary Surgical Associates in Campbell, California. Photo courtesy of Dan Chapel.


>>> Whether you're building new or renovating, don't forget the constant battle for space to store hospital supplies and retail items. Check out the cabinets in the treatment area at Veterinary Surgical Associates in Campbell, California. Most upper cabinets don't go higher than seven feet, while ceilings are customarily nine of 10 feet. Photo courtesy of Dan Chapel.


>>> Most hospitals have wide corridors, corners or other nooks and crannies that could be used for storage if cabinetry or shelving was constructed or purchased. Check out this back-room corridor at BCAH in Bennett Creek Animal Hospital in Clarksburg, Maryland. Usable shelving doesn't need to be wide when many small items can be stored on six- or eight-inch shelves. Photo courtesy of Dan Chapel.

Dan Chapel, AIA, NCARB, is owner of Chapel Architects in Little Rock, Arkansas, and a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member.

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