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Satellite medical office create design challenges.

Still plagued by adverse conditions in the development and coustruction industries beyond their control, architects continued to encounter a severe lack of significant commissions in 1992.

As a result, many looked long and hard throughout the year to find the few bright areas of potential in an otherwise bleak present and uncertain future.

Not too surprisingly, one of the more positive areas was again found in the creation, alteration and renovation of medical offices. Medical practices of all kinds continued to form and expand during the year to meet the growing needs of all age groups -- but especially the elderly, which again turned out to be the fastest-growing group of all.

With the economy still stagnant, many doctors continued to stay ,where they were last year - renovating and adding to their current offices instead of moving to new ones. But in some cases, expanding practices and the desire to better service their patients made it desirable for doctors to go to areas where their pations live by establishing satellite offices.

This proved to be very effective in rural areas surrounding a core city that has a quality hospital. In these situations, a ring of satellites can be established miles from a medical group's main office, with doctors manning each satellite office on a rotating basis.

The satellite medical office presents some interesting architectural challenges as the design objective in most cases is to make the interior appear as similar as possible to the existing offices. Reason?... to establish an instantly identifiable visual and functional continuity for the practice, while presenting patients with surroundings with which they are familiar and comfortable.

Such was the case in our interior design commission last year for a new satellite office in Patterson, New York, for Danbury Orthopedic Associates, a group of 10 orthopedic surgeons. The decor for the 2,000-square-foot satellite office contains all the elements we created for the 10,000-square-foot home office in Danbury six years ago, but on a significantly reduced scale.

These included interior space relationships, colors, materials, furniture and furnishings for the reception and waiting areas, physical therapy room, plaster rooms, x-ray room and examination and consulting rooms. It also required parallel physical design requirements for built-inequipment and roomdividing partitions.

The marketing of health services today, where patient-centered care is enhanced by patient convenience, makes the satellite office a viable approach to a quality practice. The healthcare consideration of the future will witness the reorganization of hospitals to embrace added out-patient facilities as a step toward delivering services at a lower operating cost.

The satellite office is a major step in that direction.
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:More Review & Forecast; main objective in design of satellite medical offices involves duplication of already-existing office interiors
Author:Foster, Richard
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Feb 2, 1993
Previous Article:Pockets of activity in lackluster NJ market.
Next Article:New ideas for reducing expenses.

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