Out Patient Department Planning & Design



OPD offers a very wide variety of services such as clinical examination, investigations, diagnosis, dispensing, minor surgical procedure, interventional procedures, counselling and rehabilitation services. Efficient and effective functioning of OPD promotes relief to patients, reduces burden on the indoor services. On an average number of patients visiting and utilizing out patients services is about 20 times that of indoor admissions.

Considering the above facts, Hospaccx team participates in OPD planning and designing. This is macroficial study of OPD planning and designing if you want to get into more detail you can contact [email protected]


Types of Outpatient Services

Centralized Outpatient Services:  All services are provided in a compact area which includes all diagnostic and therapeutic. Facilities being provided in the same place.

Decentralized Outpatient Services: Services are provided in the respective departments.


  • Patient flow should move in one direction to avoid undue back traffic.
  • Sharing with the IPD, all Diagnostic facilities, such as X-Ray & pathology laboratory.
  • Should be amenable for expansion without serious dislocation of work. 

Site & Physical Layout

  • Out Patient Department should be situated on main road i.e. not in by lanes to enable easy identification, fast entry and fast access to the vehicles, whether car, taxi or ambulance.
  • It is desirable to have OPD in a separate building or separate wing of the hospital to prevent mixing up with indoor patients.
  • There should be easy access to indoor area through communicating corridor or overhead bridge to facilitate easy transport of patient needing admission to wards.
  • Support services like laboratory, radiology, social services, medical record department and pharmacy should be situated near OPD.
  • Physical layout and plans must consider number of patients coming from different areas and the direction of patient traffic which should ordinarily move only in one direction.


Rule of thumb is ½ sq. foot per 1 outpatient visit per year. Space required varies with the factors mentioned below

  • Anticipated Workflow
  • Type of services provided i.e. basic, super specialty, specialized investigative and therapeutic procedures 
  • Available staff
  • Timing for the services
  • Future expansion
  • Hospital design

Main Requirements

  • Reception & enquiry counter
  • Registration counter
  • Waiting hall
  • Examination rooms
  • Procedure room for
  1. Injection
  2. Minor procedures like incising, suture removal, abscess etc.
  • Observation / Recovery room
  • Support services- laboratory, radiology etc.

Reception and Enquiry counter

  • As this is the area of first contact of patient with the hospital, location of OPD, identification and functions are important. Staff members posted in this area must be fully aware of all the areas, functions and schedule of different services as well as they should be able to communicate the same in simple & sympathetic language.
  • Wheelchairs & trolleys are also arranged near reception in the specific space allotted for the bay. This arrangement enables easy & fast transportation of patients who have difficulty in ambulation or those who are non ambulatory.

Registration Counter

  • It is located in the vicinity of reception counter. All the patients who come to hospital outpatient services need to register themselves, obtain OPD paper / card containing name & registration number.
  • In some hospitals, case records are stored in the registration department & patients are handed over a small card containing the registration number. Every time the patient visits hospital the paper is issued by the department.

Waiting Hall

  • After obtaining case paper, patients need to wait for clinical examination. Waiting area needs to have drinking water facility, toilets and medical store. Many hospitals have temple or meditation room in the waiting hall.

Examination Rooms

General purpose examination room

  • For routine medical, surgical, dermatology etc. a cubic room is required having floor area of 60*80 feet if required. Each room requires space for the doctor’s table, chair for patient, examination tray, wash basin, X-Ray viewing box, curtains for visual privacy.
  • In crowded outpatient departments, it is desirable to have arbitrary division and separate examination area for
  1. New patients – male female
  2. Old patients – male female
  3. Clinical room for students training

Special OPD services

Gynecology: will require different type of examination table, more privacy

Ophthalmology: space & facilities for testing of vision, other investigation and therapeutic procedures on eyes

Ear, nose, throat: separate light source, audiometry etc.

Dental department: special dental chair, drill etc.

Procedure rooms:

For carrying out minor procedures like lumber puncture, pleural or ascetic aspiration, catheterization, suturing etc. Separate procedure room having adequate table is necessary. It is desirable to earmark specific areas for the procedure rooms.

  • Room requiring aseptic conditions for surgical procedures.
  • Room requiring clean area & aseptic items. (suturing & suture removal)
  • Room for dressing wounds, plastering, injections.
  • Room for carrying out potentially infective or ‘unclean’ procedures e.g. enema, bowel wash

If it is not possible to have separate rooms / cubicles for all these activities, one can have three categories

  • Absolutely clean: restricted human traffic, change of foot wear etc, use of sterile mask & gowns for procedures like minor surgical procedures, biopsy.
  • Relative clean: restricted traffic, change of foot ware, use of sterile gown-mask not required. Procedures like debridement of infected wounds, catheterization etc. are carried out over here.
  • Relatively unclean: procedures like enema, bowel wash are carried out.

Observation / Recovery room

After carrying out procedures like biopsy, drainage etc. patient needs to be observed for 30 minutes to one hour. When lumber puncture, infusion of intravenous fluids, treatment for convulsing epilepsy patient or status asthmatics or similar treatment has been carried out, about one hour’s observation period is desirable.

Support Services

Pathology, radiological and other routine investigations need to be available as near OPD area as possible. The facilities could be

  • Routine i.e. pathology / laboratory specimen collection counter, routine X-Rays, sonography, physiotherapy, social service department etc.
  • Specialized- i.e. endoscopies, electroencephalography, cardiac catheterization etc.
  • Cash counter for collecting fees
  • Stores : for keeping items required in OPD’s
  • Arrangement for waste disposal and collecting soiled linen.


To conclude, OPD is the first point of between patient & hospital staff. In OPD, effective treatment can be provided on ambulatory basis.

Are you planning to design OPD? We can help you to design your dream project, below are the healthcare design services that we offer:-

  • Healthcare Architecture Design services
  • MEP Design
  • Landscape Design services
  • Structural  Design services
  • Interior Design services

It is the superficial and macro level study for more details kindly contact Hospaccx Healthcare business consulting Pvt. ltd on [email protected] or [email protected] or you can visit our website on www.hhbc.in

Please follow and like us: