Optometric Management Tip # 334   -   Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Exam Room Size and Function

A great way to increase productivity and patient flow in your practice is to add an exam room. Multiple exam rooms per doctor are a necessity for efficient delegation of clinical testing to your technician staff. Whether you are converting some existing office space into a new exam room or designing a floor plan for a completely new office, the size of the exam room is an important consideration.

I'm seeing a trend in office design that leads to smaller and smaller exam rooms. With the cost of office space at a premium, you naturally want to get as much functionality as you can from your space, but it's possible to go too small. Here are my thoughts on optimum room sizes.

The exam room

I'm defining this room as one that houses a traditional exam chair and stand with a phoroptor, acuity chart and slit lamp. Here are some considerations:

I have found an exam room that is 10 feet wide and 14 feet long to be luxuriously large while not wasteful. The smallest exam room I recommend is 8 X 12 feet. Any dimensions between those will work fine and it's certainly possible to go smaller with some limitations on the points made above.

The pretest room

Pretest and special test rooms are as important as exam rooms in the design of your clinical area. With new advanced instrumentation, we need more of these data collection spaces than ever before.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management