South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 10, 2020
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March 2008 - Volume 4 - Issue 9
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Location, Location, and Design: Three Critical Components to a Successful Medical Office

With managed health care programs radically changing the economics of the private medical practice, a doctor has to be extremely careful in the opening up of a new medical practice in today's environment. Careful planning, research, and strategy will make the difference between a prospering and successful, growing practice to one that may languish, or worse, fail. Managed care is a formidable adversary, but not one which the smart, business-minded doctor cannot prevail over.

Choosing the right location is the most critical element in opening up a practice. The doctor must research essential information to ascertain whether the demographics within a three to five mile radius best conforms to the doctor's type of practice. For example, a dermatologist should look for a demographic base where there is a high concentration of middle-aged people that are somewhat affluent to afford elective and cosmetic procedures.

Once the doctor has identified a compatible demographic base, the second most critical element is to select the right building within this demographic area. A medical practice should be situated in a dedicated medical building, one that predominantly caters to doctors, and be located in an area where there is a high concentration of other medical buildings or facilities. The ideal situation would be a medical building located on a hospital campus, or in close proximity to a major hospital. This creates an environment of synergy so that specialists can refer patients to each other, and it saves the doctor time and money commuting to and from the hospital when a doctor is on staff or has privileges at the hospital. For example, we purchased the University Medical Plaza in Tamarac, Florida. The University Medical Plaza sits directly in front of the University Hospital and is situated right on University Drive, a major arterial north-south road connecting a multitude of communities within Western Broward County, Florida. Because the University Medical Plaza is surrounded by other medical arts buildings behind and around the University Hospital campus and is walking distance from the University Hospital, it is a perfect location for a new medical practice.

Finally, design is the third most critical element in opening a new medical office. The building must have plenty of parking to accommodate the waves of traffic that will be generated from the practice, as well as other medical practices within the same building. The bathrooms must have adequate handicap accommodations. There must be sufficient power within the building to accommodate various machines and equipment to be typically used by various specialities. Also, the building must have adequate HVAC to accommodate climate variations from crowded reception rooms, as well as heat generated from specialized equipment. Plumbing must also be adequate for those specialities that require water, internal sinks, and internal bathrooms.

There are other important considerations and features that are essential, as well, to increase the prospects for a burgeoning and prospering practice. However, if the doctor thoroughly researches and is comfortable with location, location, and design, he/she has covered 80% of the base.

Clifford Stein is President of Savitar Realty Advisors, a South Florida based real estate and advisory company, with offices and holdings throughout the east coast. He can be reached at (305) 866-1546 ext. 106, or by e-mail at cliff@savitarcompanies.com.
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