Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed July 2006)

Chief administrator: Evan Lipkis, MD, Managing Partner/Physician, (847) 729-8833

Firm: Proteus Group, (312) 337-7800

Design team: Julie Ford, IIDA, CFM, Principal-in-Charge/Project Manager; Kerri Snook, Interior Designer (Proteus Group); Roberta Greenspan, President, Specialdocs Consultants, Inc.; Tracy Zirin, Concierge Medicine Practice Consultant (Specialdocs Consultants, Inc.)

Photography: ©2006 Dimitre Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 1,500

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $38

Total construction cost (excluding land): $57,500

Concierge Medicine is the newest concept in humanizing the practice of medicine. By implementing an alternative practice structure and reducing practice size, physicians have more time to spend with their patients, reduce their stress level, and increase revenue while decreasing billings.

The patients, who pay an upfront annual service fee, receive a more personal level of care with no wait times, direct cell phone access to their physician 24/7, annual comprehensive wellness physicals and other services not usually covered by insurance. MD Special Care also provides house calls, preventive care (including weight loss, nutrition, and vitamins), and other spa-like amenities currently not found in most physicians’ offices.

Design and amenities are an integral part of transforming a traditional practice to a concierge model. MD Special Care includes more hospitality amenities and appears more residential, while still meeting the strict commercial and hospital codes required for medical care. We incorporated high-end hospitality and commercial-grade residential objects into the design, including flowers, rugs, and aromatherapy through coffee, candles, and fruit. We designed a reception desk that is welcoming and not dividing, by leaving out the typical barriers that separate the receptionist from the patient, and created an office space that looks more like a home office.

In order to connect “old fashioned” medicine with today’s technology, we used antique, freestanding desks for the physician along with glass accessories. The private exam rooms are far more inviting than typical exam rooms, incorporating pedestal sinks, glass accessories, artwork, flowers, and linen hampers. For this type of practice, the appropriate design is all about the details, and the most amazing part of this process is how we created and achieved this high design look on a very modest budget.