For most people, the exam room is at the center of the healthcare experience. No longer just a place for medical exams and treatments, it’s also a space where consulting, learning and person-to-person sharing happen.
Whether in a doctor’s office, an urgent care center, a surgery center or the emergency room, exam rooms are hardworking, high-functioning spaces that support the activities and relationships that create connected, satisfying and effective health experiences.
Learning is an essential part of effective healthcare. As patients take a more active role in their healthcare, exam rooms must be equipped for teaching and learning about health status, conditions, treatments and healthy lifestyles. This means leveraging multiple methods of connecting people and information.
Family or other support persons are often in the exam room as important partners in the patient’s health. Accommodating their presence—whether it’s physical or virtual—helps to ensure important information is heard, understood and retained, increasing the chances for good outcomes.
There’s new pressure on clinicians to make every moment count. As insurers change reimbursement systems, efficiency and effectiveness have become more important than ever. At the same time, patients don’t want to be rushed through appointments. Efficient, well-equipped spaces can be a timesaver as well as a pathway to better outcomes and improved patient satisfaction.
Technology is opening new opportunities in healthcare, and it should be fully incorporated in exam rooms. Smart devices, apps and web-based information are new tools for diagnosing and treating patients, accessing and sharing information, and communicating effectively.