The healthcare sector has changed dramatically over the last decade due to legislative changes, demographic shifts and economic cycles. Finding the right location for your business practice has become a lengthy process that requires a survey of the competition along with various studies involving traffic counts, visibility and access. Whether you plan to lease or buy the property outright, you will be dedicating resources to build-out and set-up, which are major startup costs for any practice. That said, it is crucial to choose the most appropriate site based on your existing operations and future plans.
Choosing the Best Location
Medical office buildings have unique location requirements. These properties are typically found near major medical facilities such as hospitals and outpatient surgical/non-surgical units. Sites that are close to university campuses are also highly favored by medical practitioners because of the presence of advanced infrastructure, including communications technology and transportation. Additionally, the campus population is a good source of research volunteers, employees and consultants.
Determining Ease of Access
Medical facilities are destination businesses, which means the office is not dependent on pedestrian traffic. However, ease of access is a major concern especially for patients who rely on public transportation to get to their appointments. The site should have adequate connections to the main streets, and parking must be available especially during peak hours. The facility should have an option for overflow parking and valet service for patients with physical limitations. Access for patients with disabilities is mandatory in all states, so make sure that existing structures can be renovated and retrofitted to comply with access laws.
Establishing a One-Stop Healthcare Facility
Medical offices cluster in a particular area for enhanced efficiency when it comes to delivering healthcare services. Medical districts may be anchored by a hospital or university, and ancillary healthcare services are offered by providers at their own location. It is advantageous for both patient and provider to be in an environment where any additional healthcare services are accessible within a short distance. Standalone healthcare locations may be viable when the needs of a certain community justify the maintenance of a satellite office although this is no longer a widespread strategy.
Establishing an office for a healthcare practice is a lengthy and expensive process. It is a huge commitment of time and resources that may have you wondering when to rent space in an existing building and when to build your own office. The answer depends on whether the space meets all your predefined expectations, including room for expansion and improvements as your practice grows.
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