Once fairly standardized, exam rooms are evolving to address changes in delivery models and technology. In the past, most non-exam activities took place at different locations in a clinic. However, as more healthcare services flow toward the patient, the exam room is becoming the central location for care delivery—from standard exams to specialized procedures.

A typical exam room is not necessarily typical anymore. Yet there are still common features in all exam rooms: the patient zone, the care provider zone, and the partners-in-care (family) zone.

And there are tree trends, specifically, that are influencing these spaces the most.

Education is playing a greater role in the healthcare delivery system. Exam room planning is responding with larger consultation spaces where a primary care provider or team of providers can discuss preventive care resources, either one-on-one with a patient or as part of a group exam with several patients.

Partners-in-care also are playing a greater role in healthcare processes. Exams rooms are including larger family spaces for partners, such as family members, interpreters, or friends, to participate in patients’ healthcare process.

Finally, technology is playing an ever-increasing role in exam room planning. Flexibly planned exam rooms bring services and technology to the patient. Video-based telemedicine, for instance, allows patients and primary caregivers to consult with specialists remotely.

With so many changes happening inside the traditional clinic, the forward-thinking designer needs to collaborate with healthcare facilities owners to review the best options in an evolving marketplace. Efficient, well-planned exam rooms anticipate changes to provide the best patient care possible