From entrepreneurs looking for warehouse facilities in the form of co-warehousing to budding start-ups looking for incubator spaces, there’s a niche to fit every kind of business need.
Medical coworking is one of the newer trends to hit the coworking industry, and it’s rising quickly in popularity.
This unique niche takes the coworking business model and applies it to healthcare – and with very successful results.
In this article, we’ll discuss medical coworking including what it is, who it’s for, and tips for creating your own medical coworking space.
What is medical coworking?
Medical coworking is a shared workspace where independent healthcare practitioners can see patients, network, and grow their private practice at an affordable cost.
Practitioners rent space in a medical coworking facility on a daily, hourly, or monthly basis. The rooms are fully equipped with everything they need, and they are free to see patients and practice their craft here independently.
They do not need to take care of any of the usual operations involved in running a business, like administrative work, buying equipment, or daily cleaning.
This makes it a win-win for practitioners looking to open a private practice without spending a fortune.
Who is medical coworking for?
Medical coworking is best for any independent healthcare practitioner who operates their own private practice.
- Family doctors and general practitioners
- Mental health therapists and psychologists
- Acupuncturists and naturopathic health workers
- Dieticians and nutritionists
- Bodywork practitioners
Most medical coworking spaces have multiple rooms specifically designed to fit a wide variety of practitioner needs, including therapy rooms, medical rooms, and cosmetic rooms.
Benefits of medical coworking
There are many benefits to practicing in a medical coworking space for practitioners. Here are where members find they get the most benefits.
Networking and referral opportunities
Operating a medical practice can be isolating. Medical coworking spaces give practitioners the opportunity to meet other healthcare professionals and expand their professional networks.
Having so many different kinds of practitioners in one space can also create referral opportunities for members.
For example, if you are a mental health therapist and your patient could benefit from alternative medicine like acupuncture, you can refer them to the acupuncturist in-house – and vice versa.
In turn, members can easily acquire more patients, while being a part of a community of like-minded individuals.
Access to affordable space
There are many expenses to consider when opening a private medical practice including equipment, insurance, staff, and more.
Medical coworking spaces offer a turnkey solution at an affordable cost. They’re fully equipped with everything a member would need to practice, and can even be booked on demand.
This means members only have to pay for what they need to use, which can save them thousands of dollars long-term.
More time with patients (and less time with operations)
Spending time with patients is a top priority for healthcare professionals.
Unfortunately, many independent practitioners find themselves spending more time on logistics and less time helping their patients when they open their own practice.
Medical coworking spaces aim to ease this pain point by offering receptionist and administrative services. This includes:
- Call Answering
- Email management
- Booking management
By taking care of the operational aspects of managing a private practice, practitioners can provide their patients with a better overall experience.
Independence and flexibility
One of the greatest benefits of operating outside of the traditional healthcare model is the independence and flexibility that it allows.
Medical coworking spaces can be booked on-demand, as needed, with a very little upfront cost. They are also not attached to an institution, which can be very appealing to some practitioners.
This gives practitioners a lot of freedom and independence in how and when they see patients, and the ability to do so in a way that works for them.
Amenities in a medical coworking space
Coworking space amenities can range from childcare services to yoga rooms.
Of course, the amenities at a medical coworking space will be a bit different from a typical coworking environment. Here are some popular amenities that we see included in a medical coworking membership plan:
- Office essentials like high-speed WiFi, printing, scanning, and mail services
- Common areas with coffee, tea, and snacks
- Front desk reception
- HIPAA & OSHA compliant spaces that are modern, clean, and well-equipped
- Patient services like a waiting room, check-in services, and refreshments
These amenities benefit both practitioners and patients and help healthcare professionals provide a better experience.
Examples of medical coworking spaces
Curious about what a real-life medical coworking space looks like? Let’s take a look at three Optix clients who are operating successful, multi-location medical coworking businesses.
Lina is a medical coworking space with three locations in the US. They were one of the first medical coworking spaces in the world, and they have done an incredible amount of work in paving the way for this growing coworking niche.
Lina offers a variety of rooms for their members including:
- Private offices
- On-demand medical spaces
- On-demand therapy rooms
- On-demand bodywork spaces
What really sets Lina apart is its commitment to community and excellence. Their spaces are immaculate and their amenities are top-notch.
Learn how Lina built a thriving community of independent healthcare practitioners with Optix.
“Lina is a leading medical coworking company built to support the practice needs of independent health practitioners. We offer turnkey office suites for medical, mental health, and wellness practitioners along with concierge amenities that greatly reduce overhead costs and barriers to practice.”Lina
Wellshare is an Australian medical coworking network with nearly 10 locations across the country. They offer beautiful rooms to fit a diverse set of member needs from psychology rooms to cosmetic rooms to beauty rooms.
Wellshare has five core tenets that define their business:
- Financial reward
This is what drives Wellshare to create a wonderfully unique experience for its members.
“Wellshare is on a mission to modernise healthcare. We aim to help practitioners build their brand, work flexibly and reclaim autonomy over their work life. We want to help practitioners in our community attract and retain patients by delivering the highest quality of care.”Wellshare
Andador Medico has three medical coworking spaces across Mexico.
They offer medical concierge services, security, valet parking, and more unique amenities to create an elevated experience for their members.
“We are a collaborative work center for health professionals in Mexico City. We are committed to providing you with personalized and reliable spaces to transform your consultations into an exceptional experience.”Andador Medico
Opening a medical coworking space: key considerations
There’s a lot to learn about opening a medical coworking space. Here are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
Privacy and compliance will be front and center
Privacy and compliance are going to be paramount to being successful with a medical coworking space. Put simply, you cannot operate unless you are compliant.
Take some time to understand medical spaces in your city and what sort of regulation exists. At the very least, you’ll need to consider:
You’ll need to think about patients, too
Operating a medical coworking space is like having two sets of members: practitioners and patients. While your focus is likely to be on the practitioner, you can’t forget about their patients.
It’s important to consider how your coworking space will support the patients of your members too. Can you provide them with complimentary refreshments? How will patients be able to book with your practitioner, and is this something you’ll be managing?
Considering these elements will help you provide all members with a better experience in your space.
There will be a high up-front cost
Unlike a traditional coworking space made up of desks and tables, medical coworking spaces require a tremendous amount of specialty equipment.
Be prepared to invest a large amount of money up front to ensure your spaces are well-equipped for the appropriate medical professional.
The cost to purchase and maintain this equipment should then be factored into your pricing strategy.
Community is one of the most invaluable things you can offer
Many healthcare practitioners want a community, but struggle to find it. A thriving community of doctors, dieticians, and therapists can be absolutely invaluable to your members.
Consider how you can support your members with community-focused coworking events and networking opportunities.
You may also want to consider how you can use technology to bring your community together, such as implementing a digital directory in your space to manage member relations like Lina.
This brings us to our next point…
Technology can simplify space management
Running a medical coworking space can be challenging. Building out a functional coworking tech stack can help you manage your space far more effectively. This includes:
- A coworking space management system like Optix
- Door access control
- Payment gateway
A great tech stack will save you ample time and energy when it comes to running a successful business by helping you manage bookings, member relations, events, and more.
Want to learn if coworking software is right for your business? Book a free demo today.