Grow with the flow
Sometimes, when you buy a 900-square-foot veterinary practice, you can make it work—other times, you’ll need a bigger building. For Marianne Bailey, DVM, owner of Queenstown Veterinary Hospital in Queenstown, Maryland, it was definitely the latter.
“The building was a renovated gas station and had one exam room,” says Dr. Bailey. “I purchased the hospital in 2014 and quickly realized the practice was far too busy for the square footage we were working in.”
In order for the practice to grow (and offer the best client and patient experience), she first needed to move her team. One successful move later, and she and her team had a brand new 1,900-square-foot veterinary hospital—that soon after earned a Merit Award in the 2018 dvm360 Hospital Design Competition.
Find out what made our judges fall for this East Coast beauty and steal these hospital hacks for your next project.
Think outside the industry
When it came to her design inspiration, Dr. Bailey didn’t stick solely to veterinary hospitals. This was especially helpful when it came to designing less-clinical areas in the hospital. “The break room concept was developed after I saw a photo of a law firm’s break room and loved the feel,” Dr. Bailey says. “I created a Pinterest board of the looks I liked and disliked. Some photos were of veterinary hospitals, but others were from other types of businesses.”
She wanted her new hospital to be clean and professional, yet warm and inviting. Sharing her Pinterest board with her architect's interior designer was an easy way to communicate the vision for the new space, Dr. Bailey says.
Take it room by room
The key to a stellar floor plan? Talk to your architect, Dr. Bailey says. Her team of architects walked her through the hospital design process starting at the front door all the way to the back of the clinic.
“As we discussed each room, they asked me what I wanted and didn’t want,” Dr. Bailey explains. “They visited for a day and watched us work to see how we normally did things. We also discussed the ways we were operating that I wanted to do differently in a new building.”
She says the hours spent discussing workflow with her team of architects is what made her floor plan a success in the end.
Design for the felines
While some veterinary hospitals seem to be for the dogs, Dr. Bailey wanted to design for feline patients, too. “I think cats are overlooked and their needs are very different from dogs',” she says. “We wanted to create a space where cats would be stimulated and have room to spread out.”
This is why they strategically placed the cat condos on the opposite side of the clinic from the dogs, creating a quieter, more peaceful boarding experience. Not only are the cat condos spacious—they can be adjusted to expand horizontally and vertically—but they can also become adjoining cages, giving cats more room to roam and relax.
“From check-in to checkout, I want our clients and their pets to be comfortable,” Dr. Bailey says. “A stress-free veterinary experience helps pet owners be more proactive in their pet’s veterinary care.”