Patient Acquisition through Healthcare Design

Designing Mental Health Facilities for Privacy and Dignity

Steve O’Leary Discusses the Proven Medical and Dental Facility Buildout Process

Bruce Johnstone Discusses Profitable Dental Office Design

The Impacts of Medical Patient Room Design on Recovery

When a patient is confined to a room due to illness, injury, or surgery, the medical patient room design can drastically impact the healing process. Thankfully for the patient population, medical facility design firms are making strides in considering these impacts and incorporating patient health into medical patient room design. Intelligent room design is a newer concept, as healthcare facilities were previously constructed to suit the needs of caregivers rather than those of the patient, and physical surroundings weren’t considered an integral part of the healing process.

Today, there is a heightened awareness of how patient room design impacts recovery, and it’s affecting how the healthcare industry is looking at designing and constructing medical care facilities. With a greater focus on providing a healing atmosphere for patients, facilities are moving toward more single-patient rooms, reducing noise and overhead announcements, installing sound absorbing floor and ceiling materials, and increasing exposure to natural light and surroundings for their patients in recovery.

With benefits such as reducing patient stays, improving overall patient mood, and reducing the use of pain killers, the choice to increase natural lighting, offer outside views, and provide soothing art installations are well worth incorporating into the medical patient room design of a modern day healthcare facility. Design firms are focusing on accommodating both the business of healthcare and the need for quality patient care in a medical environment. Many patient care rooms today seem to replicate those of hotel rooms, as opposed to offering their residents institutionally dull aesthetics, poor lighting, and windowless walls. As a result, patients of all ages – from neonatal intensive care patients to the elderly – are realizing the manifold benefits of private rooms and suites that are clean, quiet, and geared toward the specific needs of the patients who inhabit them.

Along with a new perspective of how patient room design impacts recovery is an increased understanding of how these facility design improvements better accommodate patient visitors and family members. Studies have shown that private rooms reduce patient stress, enable better quality sleep, increase the privacy and feelings of dignity for the patient, assist with inner healing and peace of mind, and speed up recovery times in general. Family members who visit or spend the night are also more comfortable and relaxed and experience less worry and stress over their loved ones’ recovery. The overarching idea is to create a more home-like environment to instill confidence among patients and their families.

Contact the medical facility construction team at Apex Design Build to learn more about medical patient room design and how patient room design impacts recovery. With a background of over 70 years in healthcare architecture, design, construction, and finishing services, we’re proud to be part of today’s exciting advancements in medical facility design. We’re here to help you create or redesign your medical facility into your vision of the perfect practice.


Veterinary Design and Construction for Pets and their Parents

Pets are loved and cherished family members, and their owners want these faithful companions to feel comfortable when they go to the vet. In addition to receiving top quality care for their pets, their parents want to feel welcomed, cared for, and respected when they trust the care of their fur babies to your veterinary practice. Apex Design Build is experienced in designing and implementing industry practices that result in state-of-the-art veterinary facilities that pets and parents enjoy visiting.

Calm & Clear

A pleasant experience at the vet’s office starts before your patients even enter the building, with clear signage that evokes a feeling of welcome, makes your clinic easy to spot, and invites your patients inside. Once through the door, pets and their parents should be enveloped in a peaceful, calming environment. Pets know when their parents are nervous or upset, and a waiting area space that is designed correctly and furnished comfortably will help ease anxiety. A smooth, easy check-in process helps parents stay connected to their pets, and limiting paperwork, clutter, and distractions aids in a smooth transition to treatment. Implementing separate areas for different species such as cats and dogs can also help reduce stress while patients wait to be seen by the veterinarian.

Just like small children, many pets are easily startled by sudden loud noises, so integrating acoustical elements into your veterinary design and construction that help soften sounds in a clinical environment goes a long way to helping nervous pets relax. A separate indoor or gated outdoor play area can also be a great way to help relieve anxiety for jittery nerves, and provide a place for pets to potty, if needed.

Comfortable & Reassuring

Many pets experience separation anxiety, so allowing parents to stay with their pets while they’re being examined can help keep pets calm and reassured that their owners haven’t abandoned them. Providing seating in the exam room offers pet owners a place to put their belongings and rest if needed or hold and comfort their pets before or after treatment. Seeing modern veterinary technology at work can also help reassure parents that their pets are receiving the best care available.

Including windows that allow natural light, muted colors, and a mixture of natural materials all work together to create a space that welcomes, calms, and soothes. Balancing the right amount of exam rooms, an adequate number of surgical suites, a comfortable waiting area, smooth traffic flow, and a space that is easily maneuverable for larger pets along with adequate work and break spaces for employees and staff is the goal of effective veterinary design and construction for pets and their parents.


Along with the latest technology, pleasing aesthetics, quick and easy check in and check out procedures, and modern equipment, having caring, empathetic staff is a major component to a successful, long lasting veterinary practice. Customer service should be a top priority, and every pet parent should feel confident that the needs of their beloved family member are paramount in the minds of your staff.


Contact the veterinary facility design team at Apex Design Build to achieve the best in veterinary design and construction for pets and their parents and follow us on social media to learn more about our services. We’re here to help you create or reimagine your veterinary practice facility into your vision of the perfect practice, and help you become the place to be when pets need tender loving care in a modern, comfortable veterinary practice.

Healthcare Construction Master Planning

What is a master plan, and why do you need one when constructing your medical office or healthcare facility? Devising a master plan means giving yourself and your design firm a project road map. A comprehensive master plan with clear direction means ease of navigation and fewer roadblocks on your journey to the kind of medical facility you and your patients deserve. Your vision for your medical office or healthcare facility drives the master plan, while healthcare industry regulations, marketplace dynamics, rising operational costs, technological advances, and the changing economy all affect the ultimate outcome.

The master planning paradigm is changing, and your organization must be prepared to change as well. Expandability and productivity must be considered in the master planning process, as the current status quo within the healthcare system is experiencing what some call “a seismic shift”.

What is changing and how does it affect my master plan?

Elements that must be considered include volume, technology, community, complexity, cost, and more.

  • Along with the increasing number of patients 65 and older who are requiring more complex healthcare services, more patients of all ages are entering the healthcare system due to the Affordable Care Act.
  • As employers begin shifting more of the cost burden to their employees, healthcare providers are faced with the need to control costs while still offering quality health care to their patients.
  • Technology in the healthcare industry has seen recent dramatic changes with the advent of the “e-patient” and mobile health apps which allow patients to monitor their individual health statistics and communicate with their caregivers remotely.
  • In addition, retail healthcare facilities such as urgent care clinics are rivaling the traditional doctor’s office as the patient facility of choice for treatment.

When conducting healthcare construction master planning, the team designing your medical facility needs to consider all these factors along with your vision for your facility, your personal style and design preferences, and your staff and patient requirements. Apex Design Build brings decades of successful healthcare facility design, architecture, and construction experience to bear when designing and executing your master plan. We understand the unique requirements within the healthcare community, and our team will incorporate your vision for your practice along with cutting edge, innovative design and modern architecture to deliver a medical facility that surpasses your expectations and allows you to provide optimum care for your patients.

Contact Apex Design Build to begin your healthcare construction master planning of your medical office or healthcare facility.

Inclusivity in the Office through Hybridization and Design

When designing a comfortable, functional, professional medical center or healthcare facility, the goal is to create an atmosphere that accounts for the needs, as well as the viewpoints, of everyone involved. When designing with a view to inclusivity, the elements of age, race, nationality, gender, sexuality, class, disability, and other individualizing factors must be given equal weight and consideration. In this modern workforce, inclusivity in the office can be manifested through the hybridization of design, and in a medical facility, where the staff is directly involved with their patients, inclusivity and hybridization are even more relevant.

Medical facilities are multi-faceted centers of activity where both the healthy and the infirm, the child, teenager, adult, and elderly, the patient and the medical professional, and every other element that contributes to the whole must be equally considered throughout the design, and construction, phases of the project. At Apex Design Build, we believe medical facility inclusivity and hybridization are essential to today’s  — and tomorrow’s — successful healthcare practices.

Open Spaces

In a medical facility, incorporating inclusivity in the office begins by creating open spaces for connectivity. Boundaries must be fluid permitting open spaces to serve more than a singular function. A waiting room needs to offer comfortable seating but also have accommodations for younger patients with activity centers, child-sized seating, and a private space for nursing mothers. In addition, wide entry and exits for wheelchair bound individuals, flat spaces or ramps in place of stairs, and slip-free flooring allow for the safe flow of foot traffic throughout the facility.


A healthcare facility requires several types of lighting, depending on the function of the space. Waiting rooms should have warm, welcoming lighting that is soothing and comfortable for reading and filling out paperwork while patients wait to be seen. Office space requires lighting that is brighter and more functional, and surgical areas demand specialized lighting zones. However, rather than creating borders between these areas, incorporating light level calibration and natural light into the waiting rooms and workspace encourage synergy and unity as staff and patients travel from one area to the next.


The use of color in a healthcare facility can accomplish multiple tasks; the right color in a waiting room can help people relax prior to being seen by a healthcare professional. Crisp, clean colors in office areas can promote a feeling of energy during the workday, while calming colors in examination areas can help ease anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing rest. By intertwining color themes, the office palette breaks down mental barriers and welcomes creative, connective thought.


Inclusivity in the office means every worker team member or patient from the front desk to the surgical suite experiences a sense of welcome and accommodation for their individual needs and personal preferences. This can be achieved through thoughtful design, construction, and furnishing that is fully customizable. In fact, as the face of healthcare evolves, the functionality of a medical facility should embody this inclusivity and hybridization by offering spaces that meet more than one goal at a time. Through the inclusion of hybrid health spaces, each area can achieve multiple goals that anticipate staff, patient, and practice needs.


In a medical facility there are increased requirements when it comes to privacy. Open areas that can be easily adjusted to semi-private spaces are a good example of hybridization at work. Office space that can be used as overflow for a crowded waiting room is another example of a single space serving a dual purpose. As the functionality of each space should cater to a variety of needs, the space itself should be responsive and resilient allowing for transitions between these needs without disrupting the workflow or patient experience.

Honoring diversity in the workplace by promoting inclusivity in the office and among the medical patients in a healthcare facility is a concept that is long overdue, and one which Apex Design Build is focused on incorporating into all aspects of architecture, design, construction and furnishing for every project.


To learn more about Apex Design Build, contact your medical clinic construction experts today.

How to Leverage Natural Office Design and Interior Space to Help Calm Patients

Whether it’s because of a health issue that’s been weighing on the patient’s mind or an inherent phobia, going to the doctor can be a terrifying experience for some patients. For years, medical professionals have been trying to combat this problem. Staff training regimens incorporate friendliness and relaxed attitudes, and marketing campaigns attempt to brighten the way customers perceive healthcare. Some professionals go so far as to restructure forms and various workflows.

At Apex, we strive to find ways to calm patients with dynamic architecture and smart, natural office design. Medical facility design impacts your patients during their visit and can have a significant influence on their nerves and anxiety levels. Today, we’re going to go over some of the ways that the design of your medical facility impacts your patients’ behaviors, moods, and emotions. In particular, we’re going to address how to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere.


Applying color psychology (which has deep roots in research and academia) to healthcare requires a keen eye for broadness. It’s easy to understand color on a granular level (i.e., blue is calming, red is angering, etc.), but rooms are complex 3-dimensional spaces, and the ways that colors interact and radiate throughout that space goes much deeper than simply plastering a psychologically-impacting color on the wall.

For example, while the color blue may provoke feelings of serenity and peacefulness, the way that your space’s light and openness radiate that blue color can have quite the opposite effect. Color psychology isn’t as simple as this color is equal to this emotion. Over the years, we’ve cultivated an eye for the ways that colors play off of other colors, lighting, and space. We recommend layering colors throughout your office. So, if you want to use bright, vivid colors to perk up patients, use those colors sparingly. For a natural office design, white, black, and neutral tones should cover the majority of your space. Colors are only impactful if they’re vivid and contrasting. Otherwise, the color will get lost in the backdrop.

As an example, let’s look at one of our recent medical facility design projects with Brand & Wire. While we still used blue throughout various spaces (e.g., furniture, reception area, walls, etc.), we positioned each blue shade between white and coral. As patients get further into the office, the blue colors start to get slightly darker, welcoming them further into the office. This natural office design was open and welcoming, but there was a controlled patient flow that we leveraged to use colors as impactfully as possible.

Color Q&A

  • What colors will incorporate your brand and your patients into the medical facility design?
  • How can you leverage color psychology to help calm your patients down during wait times?
  • What’s the best way to coordinate your colors so that your space looks inviting and welcoming?
  • How do you create contrast without it being overly noticeable and distracting?


Calmness lends itself to spaciousness. Closed architecture and rigid spaces can make patients feel trapped, not sheltered. You want to create a natural office design with rooms that are open, safe, and that lend themselves to collaboration. Free-form modular units centered around open waiting areas introduce a welcome change to the typical clinical layout. Closed spaces can induce claustrophobia, which may bring out other anxieties — including hypochondria.

Here are some ways that you can use space to your advantage when designing your medical facility for your patients’ comfort:

  • Use windows to introduce perceived space to waiting rooms. Windows give patients the feeling of being free and open, instead of restricted and contained. Plus, natural light, plants, and other natural elements incorporated into the office design help relieve stress. In fact, studies have shown that recreating nature indoors is equally as effective at stress reduction as actually being in nature.
  • Allow space to dictate workflows. Using space to create an open environment in the front end of the office and in closed areas to give patient privacy on the backend, helps patients relax and distance themselves from the fears of healthcare. Use space to make patients feel at home, not at the clinic.
  • Leverage space and lighting together. Try allowing light to pour through the office by eliminating blockages and obstructions. Incorporating natural light into the office design allows you to highlight the medical facility in a way that appeals to your patients.


While material choice in itself can be a taxing decision, choosing materials that mesh together is critical to creating a calming atmosphere. You want the entire space to flow together seamlessly. Odd materials or unusual color patterns can make the room feel ajar and distant. Natural materials that align with the office design have the added benefit of aging consistently, which means that they never feel out-of-place. Plants make a great addition to any clinical practice. Not only do they give off inviting feelings of nature, but they also improve air quality.

Here are some ways that you can use materials to create an atmosphere of calm:

  • Focus on choosing materials and furniture that match and feel connected. Suggest eliminating or rephrasing this as article endorses modularity above in Space section.
  • Choose materials that are seamless. This means countertops and floors don’t feel disjointed and bundled separately.
  • Find ways to create space via your materials. Furniture, floors, lamps, tiles, etc. can all be arranged to introduce additional space, light, and color into your office.


Many healthcare facility architects state that calming environments come from a combination of elements:

  • Environmental quality
  • Natural systems
  • Physical activity
  • Safety
  • Sensory environments
  • Social connectedness

We recommend that medical facilities leverage each of these design pillars to create profound and calming settings for their patients. In particular, materials, lighting, and space can create all of these pillars through efficient, natural office design practices.

If you’re looking for a firm that understands the complexities of healthcare design, contact our design build team.