How to Minimize Disruptions When Planning for a Medical Office Renovation

“Success is the residue of planning.” – Benjamin Franklin

A renovation whether small or large is a chance at improving the medical office’s position, prospects, and profitability. In this process of improvement, however, comes possible disruptions to the business activity which is a trade-off that can be offset by a lot of planning and monitoring to execute within the schedule. We are essentially not planning for disruptions but rather making the most productive use of them to come out bigger and better. Read more below to find out how.

1. Pre-Planning

Renovations are not to be done instantly or out of a whim. It is a massive undertaking that entails a substantial investment of time and money that it needs to be closely monitored to be executed well. It is a disruption to a business activity which makes it more time-sensitive as it represents lost revenue over time if not planned properly and even more so during delays. Failing to plan is planning to fail is a guiding principle that should dictate how thorough one needs to be to plan and map out the strategies to achieve the desired results. Work with the team – your medical interior designer, builder, construction manager, and even the operations manager to set the deliverables, and the expectations and to align all on the timeline of the project. Any potential sources of delay, unforeseen circumstances, or bottlenecks must be identified beforehand and prepared for just in case they do arise. Anything that could be accomplished beforehand, purchased in advance, or scheduled even before needed should be accomplished so no time is wasted in waiting. Construction managers have organizational tools to identify the project’s critical path to anticipate the next steps beforehand and it should greatly improve the flow of the work to be done.

2. Communication

Aside from planning, there should be a system of cascading communication from the decision-makers down to the construction level all to the affected sectors of your practice. Whether it’s a full or partial renovation, every stakeholder must be kept in the loop with information that is relevant to them. The effective delivery of these messages is a way to keep everybody in the construction aligned with the schedule and the medical staff informed of what sectors of the space or even the entire office will be out of service and for how long.


During the renovation, we highly suggest to the practice owners designate a sole construction manager to oversee the renovation in their stead. They will be the ones to handle the designers and contractors as they complete the renovation within a certain time frame. As with new construction, many parts need to be synchronized together to complete the project. The role of the renovation manager is meant to harmonize these different parts and even mediate conflicts if they arise. They will execute the renovation to deliver the project on time, on budget, and within specifications. Save yourself the stress and designate a professional to expect professional results when it matters most.

4. Phases

Time is a valuable commodity that becomes even more precious when it hampers any capacity to generate revenue as what happens with renovations. Looking at the time from a different perspective, however, allows you to optimize time and stretch it to accomplish more. Working in phases allows you to do that and it could be done either by relaxing the project into smaller segments so you temper the renovation and its disruption over a longer time, or inversely intensifying the working hours per day by having multiple shifts take turns in a day so progress doesn’t stop to finish in the least time possible. This pacing allows practices to have the flexibility to do the renovation based on the disruption they are willing to take. If they can’t afford a prolonged stoppage then doing the work in pieces for a longer period might make sense, however, if the need is immediate or the potential revenue outweigh the disruption then an intensive schedule might be ideal.

5. Signage

As a continuation of the earlier point on communication, signage serves to make the relevant information available to the public. This is particularly helpful for partial renovations where construction works, and medical treatment happens within the practice. Safety signage and marking those which are effectively off-limits impart the information that patients need to be more mindful of while works are ongoing. Advance signage that is placed before a patient even steps into a facility must identify that renovation works are ongoing and what areas will be unavailable for what periods so that they can make alternative arrangements. Signage also can be used to tell patients to expect bigger and better things ahead for the practice. Use a render of what the renovation will look like to drive curiosity and anticipation in patients to make them look forward to when it opens.

We have always advocated for an integrated growth scenario when we design a new medical interiors project precisely to minimize the disruptions that sudden renovations may bring. But even with these disruptions, renovations are exciting times for any medical office – it’s a chance for improvement and a milestone that deserves celebration. As much as we love sharing our insights here at the blog, nothing beats the in-depth insights we share to practice owners during a consultation. Give us a call now by booking a design consultation here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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