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7 Things to Look for When Outfitting Your Primary Care Exam Room


As a primary care physician, your equipment needs are related to your community. Physicians who practice in small towns may have requirements that differ from those practicing in large medical centers.

In this regard, primary care exam room needs can vary, but essential equipment is always needed. Below are seven equipment necessities to consider:

Basic Diagnostic Equipment

Because your focus is primary care, you will need to perform basic assessments with items such as:

  • Stethoscope
  • Reflex hammer
  • Weight and height scales
  • Vital signs monitor for measuring heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and arterial blood oxygen saturation

Examination Equipment

In your examination rooms, you should have:

  • Examination stool
  • Examination lights
  • Patient and visitor chairs
  • Spirometer to measure lung functions
  • Colposcope for OB-GYN examinations
  • Full-length, adjustable examination table
  • Otoscope for diagnosing ear, nose and throat complaints
  • Ophthalmoscope and an eye chart for routine eye examination

Patient Furniture and Equipment

Your waiting room, exam room and treatment areas should cater to patient needs and comfort, including:

  • Pictures
  • Wheelchairs
  • Cleanable chairs
  • Direct and indirect lighting
  • Millwork for storing supplies
  • Anatomical charts and models

Hygiene and Infection Control

Crucial infection control items include:

  • Antiseptics: Cleaning products to maintain hygiene
  • Separate staff and patient washrooms and facilities
  • Medical waste containers: For safe disposal of medical waste
  • Hand hygiene supplies: sink, soap dispenser and paper towel dispenser
  • Protective single-use supplies: Disposable gloves, eyewear, masks and gowns
  • Replaceable covers: To protect non-disposable items (like computer keyboards)
  • Sharps disposal containers: To safely dispose of contaminated needles and surgical blades

Basic Laboratory Items

You may not need to have an advanced CLIA laboratory on site. However, you may still have to acquire specimens and samples to send out for analysis, so you should consider:

  • Blood drawing chair
  • Specimen containers
  • Urine sample storage
  • Refrigerator (for storing blood samples)

Electronic Communications Equipment

The Meaningful Use requirement for electronic health records (EHRs) requires your patient records to be computerized, so be sure your exam room has the following:

  • Compatibility with appropriate EHR software
  • Integration of diagnostic equipment with the EHR system
  • Computer or connected terminal for recording patient information
  • Computer stands to allow the physician to face the patient while entering data

Additional needs may include:

  • Fax machine
  • Signal booster
  • Modem and router
  • Telephones with answering machine

Emergency Equipment

To be prepared for emergencies, your exam room should have the following equipment:

  • AED
  • Oxygen
  • Aspirators
  • IV equipment
  • Resuscitation equipment
  • Fire extinguisher

Obtaining Your Primary Care Equipment

A substantial amount of equipment is needed to outfit primary care examination rooms. Careful planning helps identify the equipment required to perform medical examinations efficiently and professionally. It's important to conserve space, paying close attention to equipment storage needs. Proper integration of solutions helps to capture results automatically, comply with EHR requirements and avoid duplicate efforts.

At Concordance Healthcare Solutions, our team of Primary Care experts will be happy to assist you in efficiently outfitting your primary care exam room. With over 50 years of experience and access to thousands of suppliers, we can help you select the right equipment to meet your unique needs. Contact us to learn more.

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