ADA Accessible Exam Rooms 101

How do you make your office universally accessible? If you serve in the medical profession, you need to have a facility that makes it easy for those who need help to access your expertise. At Medical Waste Disposal, we have served New Mexico medical facilities for years, and we have seen the positive impact they have on the their communities. We used the last two blogs to discuss the elements of patient-centered design for examination rooms, but today, we want to dive into the specifics of making your examination rooms ADA accessible.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created in 1990 and it prohibits discrimination against anyone with a disability in all areas of public life. There are things you can do to make sure that your examination rooms are accessible to people with disabilities, and we’re going to outline them for you today. Read on!

Accessible Entryways and Routes

Making all the routes between rooms as wide and gracious as possible goes a long way toward making your facility welcoming to those with disabilities. When it comes to doorways, they should be at least 32 inches wide when the door is open at 90 degrees. Lastly, it doesn’t matter if your hallways are wide if they’re cluttered. Make a point of keeping hallways clear of obstacles like tables, chairs, and boxes. This is especially important when it comes to the areas on either side of doorways.

Accessible Scales and Exam Tables

When it comes to your scales, it’s a good idea to have scales that don’t require people to get out of wheelchairs to get on them. You’ll want a scale that’s big enough for a wheelchair and able to handle the high weight. You can also invest in a scale that’s part of a patient lift, exam table, or hospital bed.

Your exam tables should lower down between 17 and 19 inches so that anyone in a wheelchair doesn’t have to climb up to access them. It’s also a good idea to have support rails that are both adjustable and removable.

In order to keep your patients comfortable, you’ll want your exam table to feature surface extensions, including headrests and footrests. An articulating surface will allow more comfort and positioning options, empowering you to offer your patients comfort they won’t experience anywhere else.

Open Floor Space

You’ll need rooms that easily accommodate patient entry, exit, and transfer. A minimum open space of 30 by 48 inches around the exam table should be enough, but the bigger you can go, the better. You’ll also need room for a wheelchair to make a full turn, which requires a space at least 60 by 60 inches.

Those with disabilities encounter plenty of obstacles every day, but you can make your office a place where they feel comfortable, accommodated, and dignified. The team at Medical Waste Disposal is proud to help keep your facilities clean and healthy with biohazard waste disposal services. Contact us in New Mexico to get started today!

Tagged under: