Coworking spaces have become ubiquitous over the past decade as remote workers, freelancers, and companies looking to increase flexibility and decrease overhead have flocked to these shared workspaces. As the coworking market continues to rapidly expand, the types of industries taking advantage of the trend continue to diversify as well. More recently, the medical industry has hopped on the coworking bandwagon as private practices have embarked on a massive consolidation mission whereby smaller medical coworking spaces are integrating into larger health care providers.
As opposed to operating their own offices, doctors have begun selling their practices to bigger healthcare companies with the goal of establishing more efficient operations. Not only do facilities operate more efficiently with more working doctors, but the shared medical office space also creates a system of shared resources, creating access to these resources at a lower cost supplied by the larger health care providers.
Traditionally, physicians who want to open a private practice are deterred by the massive upfront costs of outfitting the medical space: exam and procedure rooms with appropriate equipment and storage, an administrative desk, a waiting room, and the physician’s private office comprise only a portion of the required facilities and materials. On top of that, there are additional costs of modifying the space to the physician’s needs, such as the amount of staff needed, the machinery required to perform certain procedures, and decorative elements that personalize the practice. And to top it off, the physician will often begin with very few patients and accrue additional debt in the process of building a new patient base.
Shared medical office space for rent eschews the massive upfront investments that are often required to begin a private practice by offering facilities that are flexible enough to cater to a variety of physicians, their specific needs, and their staff. For example, if a physician has not yet built up a substantial customer base to afford operating five days of the week, the physician can use a mobile app to reserve the space and available staff for three or four days of the week, allowing another physician to use the space and staff resources for the remaining days. Customizable administrative kiosks accommodate the specific needs of the various employed physicians using interface technology that keeps information confidential and neatly organized. More funds can also be funneled toward providing high-end amenities for staff and appealing, comfortable accommodations in the waiting room for guests.
The immense pressure of having a fully developed and self-sufficient facility from the get-go should not deter physicians from establishing private practices. Instead, they should be able to accomplish their goals in more manageable phases, and that’s what coworking medical spaces are helping them do. When physicians no longer have to worry about operating the facility themselves, they can focus more on their practice and providing exceptional services to their patients.
John Groberg, the Founder of a medical coworking space called Viva MedSuites in Scottsdale, Arizona, has experienced the success of shared medical workspace firsthand. At Viva MedSuites, tenants can book the space for periods of time as short as half the day, saving them large sums of money on monthly rent when the space isn’t in use. While Groberg understands that medical practitioners must reevaluate their business operations in a major way to use shared workspace, he believes the amount they can save on upfront capital expenses and ongoing monthly overhead is worth the shift in thinking.
Locations like VivaMedSuites are popping up all over the country as doctors and medical practitioners seek innovative solutions to the belabored and much-debated health care industry. Perhaps the future of accessible health care lies in the coworking industry. It certainly has the flexibility and agility that the health care industry currently lacks.