The primary professional workspace of any optical practice is the exam room. Although many vision tests have not changed over time, the changes to exam equipment and EMR have necessitated taking a much different view of the exam desk, computer storage and wiring. The advent of small format exam rooms that allow for pretesting has also allowed for major changes to the overall layout of the professional services space of a practice while allowing for higher volumes of patients with a smaller special format.
The majority of exam rooms today are set up to accept a chair, stand and manual phoropter. A right-handed physician would typically sit to the right side of the patient. This would allow operation of the phoropter with their right hand while rotating slightly left to then right notes on the exam desk. The advent of electronic phoropters changes that dynamic. The physician would typically control the dial with their dominant hand (right), which would then put them on the left side of the patient. In addition, the use of a computer screen to accompany this process and the desire to primarily “face the patient” during the exam has required a “reshaping” of the exam desk to accommodate both functions. While many physicians can operate either left or right, we find that those that design the exam room for both their comfort and productivity, begin to look for other productivity options for their primary workspace.
The room you spend the most time in should be the one you enjoy the most!
There are many considerations we have been given by clients to give focus to exam rooms. Depending on the focus of your practice, these are some things you may wish us to consider in the design of your exam space:
- A cabinet with a drawer size specific to your trail lens set. (They are all slightly different and don’t fit a “typical size” base lower cabinet.
- A drawer (with lock) to specifically hold prescription eye drops. This drawer has been done for clients in both lower and upper cabinets for ease of access.
- Computer storage and cable management for “current” use or for future installation of electronic phoropters. (Plan ahead for new equipment needs)
- Pull out articulating keyboard to allow for more patient engagement.
- Desk or wall mount articulating monitor mount.
- Wall mounted “modular” merchandising and literature presentation.
We design each of our exam room layouts based on the actual size of room and the needs you want it to satisfy! While exam rooms “can” be standardized, we suggest speaking with our design department to see what we can do for you.
Below we have included some popular designs for inspiration!