Medical practices

Medical practices are individual or joint practices, outpatient centres or small private clinics, some with outpatient surgery facilities, where the relationship between doctor and patients plays a key role. This applies particularly in terms of a comfortable environment and overcoming fears. Both of these are facilitated by a pleasant, calming, bright and trust-inspiring interior design.

The first impression when entering the practice is made by the reception area. If the entrance is welcoming, bright and colourful, reservations are eliminated. However, the reception is also a workstation for doctors’ assistants. Screens and conventional writing tasks require lighting akin to that of offices (see chapter "Lighting of offices and rooms with VDU workstations").

Corridors should not only be bright and welcoming, but also provide sufficient signage for orientation. Wall, recessed wall or floor luminaires equipped with LEDs show the way, e.g. green for waiting areas, yellow for treatment rooms, red for restricted-access practice rooms. Corridors are usually located inside buildings with no visual contact to the outside. Light control adapted to the light colour of daylight promotes familiarisation with the new surroundings.

Occupancy and waiting areas require 300 lx for reading. The standard value of 200 lx usually is not sufficient. Slowly and diligently controlled ceiling luminaires without extreme colour and brightness thresholds are stimulating, encouraging and contribute to resolving insecurities (see also chapter "Light and health"). In waiting rooms with insufficient daylight supply, light ceilings or indirect-distribution lighting systems can simulate natural daylight: During the day, colder colour tones (light colours up to and exceeding 6.000 K) are preferred, while warmer light colours (as low as 2.800 K) are preferred in the mornings and evenings.

In terms of photometrics, examination and treatment rooms are treated like corresponding rooms in hospitals. Beyond that, they should create more  welcoming ambience, since they are not frequented by patients being treated in the hospital, but by people who come into the practice from their daily routine.

In general medicine treatment rooms, visual communication between doctor and patient is paramount. This requires good vertical illumination on the faces (see also chapter  "Spatial lighting, direction of light, modelling").Writing and reading lighting is insufficient for this purpose. The treatment table must be illuminated additionally, using a direct-indirect-distribution luminaire on the wall or ceiling to avoid glare. If necessary, an additional examination luminaire should be provided.

Special treatment rooms for eye, ear and ENT medicine, gynaecology, dermatology, radiology and endoscopy as well as dentistry, require highly differentiated lighting systems, which are treated in the corresponding previous sections.

All rooms in medical practices require sufficient lighting for cleaning purposes compliant with hygienic requirements.