Of the more than 50 practices competing in this year’s contest, those you’re about to see were voted for by Jobson and Review of Optometry staff members. Submitting doctors and eye care professionals designated their practices as traditional or modern, and these were presented anonymously and ranked on a scale according to use of space, stylistic appeal and adherence to the tenets of the chosen style.
On the Entry Form?
The “sample style” practices on the call for entries belong to International Eye Associates, the practice of Mark Rubin, M.D., in Ormond Beach, Fla., and St. Johns Eye Associates, the practice of optometrists Diane and Sharokh Kapadia, in St. Augustine, Fla.
“It’s timeless—it’s something that will stand the test of time,” says Dr. Sharokh Kapadia of their office’s traditional style.
The Kapadias bought a new building and designed their practice from the ground up. The result? A “wow” from both patients and staff. “It’s been a big morale booster for staff, and really uplifting to be in this space and this nice facility,” he adds.
(Click on the links at the top right or the images below to view slide shows of the winners, runners up and judges' picks!)
“Our goal was to be visually stimulating and to make sure that we had a lot of color and visual interest,” says Heather Davis, office manager. Ms. Davis coordinated and designed the new office space.
The practice actually merged and moved to the new space, which gave Ms. Davis the opportunity to start with a clean slate. “We started [planning] about three years ago. We drew the design ourselves, and hired an architect to translate our drawing into plans,” she says. “This new office expanded our space by three times the amount—it’s going to have changed things for us forever.”
But, the style isn’t the only thing that’s modern. So is the technology. “We’ve been using electronic health records since January of 2006,” says Dr. Basden. “When we moved to the new building, we decided that we were ‘going all the way.’ We do nothing on paper, and we use tablet computers and Bluetooth headsets instead of notepads and phones. The whole experience really creates a ‘wow’ effect.”
“From day one, you could see the difference in how patients and staff viewed the practice,” says Dr. Johnson.
His practice outgrew its previous space, and he moved into a new building that could accommodate his staff and patients. “I opened cold seven years ago. After three years, I outgrew my current space, and I decided to re-invent myself. I knew I would have to ‘go big’ in order to retain referrals.”
Dr. Johnson decided to make his practice traditional to appeal to a wide range of patients. “This design has a bit of an edge to it, but it’s classic enough to appeal to an older demographic.” And, the expanded square footage means additional storage and organization.
But, just because his office is a traditional style doesn’t mean that the technology is antiquated. “We went paperless when we moved,” he says. “Our whole process changed—there was a learning curve, but everyone was on board and it worked very well.”
Bottom line, says Dr. Johnson, “It’s a night-and-day difference. It was a labor of love, and I’m really pleased with the outcome.”
The reason for the redesign? “My wife. I did the floor plan, and my wife chose the colors, the brick, the tile, furniture—everything” jokes Dr. Stine. “Seriously, though, we just wanted patients to be able to relax and be comfortable.”
Dr. Stine’s practice had grown to the point where he needed room to accommodate another doctor, additional staff and more patients. So, they bought the new space and designed it to suit their needs.
Patients have loved the new design. “It’s very rewarding to have patients cheer for you. A lot of them say to me, ‘You deserve a bigger place,’ but in reality, they deserve the bigger place. And this way, they’re comfortable, and we have the space and equipment to treat patients well and thoroughly without making them wait.”
“I have yet to see another office like ours,” says proud owner Dr. Strohecker. “In 2003, we completed the renovation of our 12,000-square foot building, which dates back to 1884.” Of the total space, the practice takes up 4,500 square feet.
The high ceilings don’t detract from the comfort of the space. “It has the feel of a boutique in New York City and the coziness of a Barnes & Noble,” says Dr. Strohecker.“My patients often comment how they love the feel of the building, its visual intrigue and asymmetry, and our attention to detail,” he adds. “We maintained the original floors, ceilings and exposed brick walls.”
(Click on the links at the top right to view slide shows of some of the judges' favorite entries!)