The future of the consulting room

1 November 2023
Autumn 2023

How could – and should – the consulting room evolve in line with clinical practice? Sophie Goodchild explores those aspects optometrists must consider to modernise and future-proof their examination space.

The consulting room is where optometrists are likely to spend much of their working day. Whether in a multiple or independent practice, an NHS or private setting, a well-laid-out space helps eye practitioners deliver the best care, protects their physical health and wellbeing, and ensures people feel at ease.

For some patients, the consulting room is where they receive bad news about their eye health, and thus represents the springboard of their clinical journey.

Important considerations include high-quality equipment positioned for convenient access and ergonomically designed furniture. Basic requirements include a room long enough – or mirrored – to meet the specifications of the eye examination, and a clean and tidy space to ensure a professional appearance. 

A poorly designed consulting room can impact on how efficiently practitioners perform their duties. Denise Voon MCOptom, Clinical Adviser at the College, uses the eye exam by way of example. “Having to move a slit lamp in and out of an awkward space can add time, be frustrating and potentially affect the health of the optometrist,” she says. “This is both physically and from a wellbeing perspective.”

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