In 2019, West Kendall Animal Hospital, a general companion animal practice of only 2,100 SF, won dvm360’s Hospital of Year award in the Under-8,000 SF category. It is celebrated for its optimal floor plan and an exemplary use of color and finishes to promote a high standard of veterinary design. Established in 1986 in a well-performing strip mall location in Miami, West Kendall had only been cosmetically renovated a few times in the past before solo practitioner Jeffrey Davidson, DVM executed an extensive interior remodel of this beloved hospital. Having made the most of his limited footprint, this practice shines as a state-of-the-art, sophisticated facility in a bustling urban community.
To begin, the hospital’s front door was moved from a central position at the storefront to the left-hand side, which allowed for better relation of the waiting area and exam rooms to the parking lot through the entrance. The finishings in this reception area bring to mind Miami and environs, with ocean hues that leave a calming and upscale first impression. A Rulon wood-slat treatment that mimics driftwood creates a focal point that flows down the wall behind the reception desk. A glass tile pattern on the desk emulates the reflection of light on water. This aesthetic and quality of finishes is carried throughout the hospital.
Dr. Davidson worked strategically with his landlord as a development partner to acquire 500 SF of underutilized leasehold space adjacent to the existing hospital, transforming the layout of the facility from a restrictive I-shape to a more accommodating L-shape. Functionality could now revolve around the center of the hospital, and Dr. Davidson was able to add a third exam room, satisfying a major operational priority for the practice. Two doors make for entrance and exit out of each exam room, which promotes better workflow for Dr. Davidson because he can avoid crossing through more public-facing areas (e.g. reception) while he remains productive. Compact offices and client/staff corridors flank the exam rooms for enhanced accessibility.
In such a small space, the availability for storage was another major concern for Dr. Davidson and his staff; the hospital’s design needed to be quite resourceful in this regard. Intelligent placement — including below countertops, hidden underneath reception seating, and lining ceilings with access by way of a rolling ladder – maximized the capacity for cabinetry.
After design, the next challenge was to navigate construction in such a way that kept West Kendall operational and, thus, its revenue flowing. Construction underwent two phases, so it required 1) a robust scheduling plan that detailed priorities and outlined a critical path method (CPM) to achieving those priorities, 2) proactive communication with the contractor and subcontractors, and 3) transparency with clients that, in effect, actually encouraged their excitement about the remodel. At first, Dr. Davidson worked solely out of the front of practice while construction occurred at the rear and into the expanded space. To minimize business disruptions and patient discomfort, subcontractors often worked after-hours.
Inpatient pharmacy, lab, and treatment areas follow down the staff corridor and buffer hospital wards, ICU, surgery, and other support functions from outpatient areas. The treatment area features ICU cages along one side for easy observation of critical pet care. The surgery suite was designed with positive ventilation, a pass-through window for access on either side, and a viewing window to facilitate staff/patient monitoring. Here, laminate wainscoting was installed because it is impervious to both stains and bumps from equipment. Throughout clinical areas, medical-grade vinyl flooring is easy on the feet as well as to clean, partly due to the way in which it coves up the wall without seams.
With an optimized layout came better work flow, and West Kendall now serves as a successful example of the opportunities for efficiency that exist even in a smaller floor plan. Additionally, its redesign reflects the high quality of service provided by Dr. Davidson as a showcase of an attractive, modern veterinary facility.
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