Medical facilities have a responsibility to their patients; it is their job to provide a safe and accessible place for the community to find treatment and care. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doubles down on this responsibility, requiring facilities to meet certain accommodation standards for disabled patients. While these standards should exist in every part of the building, they’re particularly important in the most frequently used rooms, such as examination rooms. Here’s how to make your exam rooms more handicap accessible and create a better environment for everyone who walks through your doors.
Plenty of Space
Examination rooms must be large enough to accommodate patients with wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Patients should be able to reach the examination table from either side. The floor should also have enough clear space to install lift equipment or other accessibility aids. Additionally, patients using wheelchairs should have adequate space to move and turn around. These special requirements also include doorways, which should have easy-to-use handles and enough clearance on either side of the door for patients to maneuver.
The actual equipment in the room should also be handicap accessible. Examination tables and chairs should move low enough for patients with mobility issues to move onto them. The doctor should also have access to additional equipment such as a transfer board or support cushions. Make sure you supply your facility with ADA-approved equipment such as our echocardiography table, the EchoBed X.
You can follow every guideline for how to make your exam rooms more handicap accessible, but it won’t mean anything if your staff aren’t willing and able to follow through on their end. Invest in the proper training for your employees so they can provide the best care possible for disabled patients. When your staff take initiative and work with patients to find the best way to care for them, they create a culture of safety, comfort, and treatment for every patient they meet.