Specsavers consulting room enhancement project reaches prototype

Thousands of clinicians across Specsavers globally, including around 500 optometrists in the UK, shared feedback about their working environment

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Thousands of clinicians from across Specsavers globally have contributed to an initiative designed to enhance the consulting rooms in which they practice.

The multiple established the consulting room development project last year and has been working with specialists in ergonomics, Morgan Maxwell, to engage with optometrists and audiologists in order to develop an optimum space.

Speaking about the project, Specsavers director of professional advancement, Paul Morris, explained that chartered ergonomists visited practices across Specsavers. Thousands of clinicians, including around 500 optometrists in the UK, shared feedback on their working environment and where they have experienced issues of discomfort through a “body map survey.”

Actioning feedback from clinicians and working with the ergonomists, Specsavers is now at the prototype stage of the project. “The design will go into a number of practices, and further learning drawn from this process will feed into our development plans,” Morris said.

Sharing that the project was established because Specsavers felt that there had not been any major innovation in consulting room design over the last 30 to 40 years, Morris said: “We felt that it was time to undertake an evidence-based project to meet the needs of our colleagues and the communities that they serve. To have open thinking about the spaces we work in, we wanted to start with a blank sheet for optics and audiology colleagues.”

“Given the amount of time that clinicians spend in consulting rooms, it is really important they and the people they care for feel comfortable,” he added.

Sharing findings from the research, the multiple reported that “things were relatively well set-up for patients,” adding that it was not so straight forward for clinicians.

“A one-size-fits-all approach just wasn’t going to work,” Morris said, highlighting: “Making more use of adjustable desks – including for height – and wall mounted screens is important. Data linkages, internet connectivity, and power supplies are other key bits of infrastructure. For ease of use and a professional, uncluttered space, storage for ancillary tests and other items is also central.”