Healthy offices, healthy patients

The built environment has a deep effect on our sense of well-being. In the particular instance of the medical office space, design modulates workflow efficiency, employee comfort and productivity, and patients’ perception of quality of care.[1

A core text on this topic is Medical and Dental Space Planning by Jain Malkin, now in its third edition. Mal­kin reviews the psychology and the general parameters of medical space planning, and then offers specific recommendations for work spaces in over 30 specialties, including primary care, diagnostic imaging, ambulatory surgery, and sport medicine. 

Other useful texts on the topic include Hospital and Healthcare Facility Design by Richard L. Miller and Earl S. Swensson (2002), Healthcare Facility Planning by Cynthia Hayward (2006), and Healthcare Architecture in an Era of Radical Transformation by Stephen Verderber and David J. Fine (2000). 

The movement toward human-scaled, environmentally sensitive facilities can be explored in Sustainable Healthcare Architecture by Robin Guenther and Gail Vittori (2008). 

The library can provide articles on office planning such as “Practical Tips for Dealing with Office Construction and Repair” (L.S. Hills, 2008), “10 Ways To Give Your Office a Face-lift” (J. Pangrazio, 2006), the three-part series “The Myriad Faces of Facility De­velopment,” and the four-part series “Office Space Planning and Design for Medical Practices” (both by R.C. Haines and colleagues, 2005 and 2003). 

College members are welcome to contact the Library to borrow the above texts (Sustainable Healthcare Architecture is available by interlibrary loan for a small fee) or a compilation of articles on office design. 

—Linda Clendenning
—Karen MacDonell
—Judy Neill
Librarians/Co-Managers, CPSBC Library


1. Becker F, Douglass S. The ecology of the patient visit: Physical attractiveness, waiting times, and perceived quality of care. J Ambul Care Manage. 2008;31:128-141.

Linda Clendenning, Karen MacDonell, PhD, MLIS, Judy Neill. Healthy offices, healthy patients. BCMJ, Vol. 50, No. 7, September, 2008, Page(s) 401 - College Library.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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