National Eyecare Month: Reflecting on Three Recent Eyecare Clinic Projects

WMH Eye Care Clinic Retail Store

January is National Eyecare Month, a time to celebrate and prioritize eye health. Regular eye exams and screenings are crucial for preventive healthcare, especially as we get older. By incorporating intentional design, we can enhance the patient experience and encourage regular visits for ongoing care. In honor of Eyecare Month, we’re reflecting on three notable eyecare clinics we’ve recently worked on to improve patient experience through intentional design.

Designing to enhance access at Waupun Memorial Hospital Eyecare Clinic

To improve access to eyecare services and procedures in the Waupun area, SSM Health recently opened an eyecare clinic at Waupun Memorial Hospital. Occupying nearly 4,000 sq. ft., the clinic features seven exam rooms, a laser/procedure room, an OCT scan room, three provider offices, and a contact lens room. The new clinic offers easy physical access with convenient parking and a dedicated exterior entrance leading to the reception and waiting area. The clinic improves access to services by including a retina specialist and pediatric ophthalmologist on staff. The clinic now provides patients with access to comprehensive eyecare services and surgical procedures close to home.

Improving patient experience At Aurora Waukesha Health Center’s Ophthalmology Clinic

Zimmerman designed a renovation for Aurora Waukesha Health Center’s medical office building, which included the Ophthalmology clinic. We worked closely with the clinical staff and equipment vendors to plan the spaces and ensure that the exam rooms will function efficiently for staff and can accommodate patients with limited mobility. The clinic sees many elderly patients who use wheelchairs or walkers. To ensure easy access to the exam rooms and testing equipment, wide doors and hallways were used.

The interior finish color and material selection considered the different perceptions that patients with different eye conditions can have. Interior design concepts were tested with visual filters to represent what patients with vision impairments such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or tunnel vision would see. This testing ensured the final design would meet the needs of patients and create a positive experience.

Designing for convenience at the Fond du Lac Health Plaza Optical Center

Convenience for receiving healthcare service and “one stop shopping” is a patient satisfier. If patients can receive an eye exam and select glasses at the same location, it saves them time and increases their overall satisfaction with the optical services. At the SSM Fond du Lac Health Plaza Campus, the Ophthalmology Clinic includes a retail vision center which provides patients with a convenient place to buy glasses and contacts. It includes a retail display area, lab, staff workroom, and storage. The retail vision center has windows to the corridor to draw in patients and visitors from other clinics and promote their products. Patients and visitors can browse the retail selection before or after their appointments. Having a visible retail center brings in more revenue as well.

Ensuring that patients have access to eyecare and treatment is important to a patient’s overall health. Access to specialized services and exams helps detect and treat vision issues early on. Improving the patient experience ensures that patients have a positive visit at the eyecare clinic and return for annual exams. Providing spaces and services that are easy to access and convenient for patients improves overall satisfaction with the facility and healthcare provider. Incorporating these design elements into a new eyecare clinic allows the providers to focus on providing excellent patient care and service.

Robin Anderson


Associate | Senior Project Architect/Planner

Robin is a highly experienced healthcare architect and planner who enjoys developing creative and healing design solutions that enhance the built environment through operational improvements, integration of Lean design concepts and evidence-based design.

Over the course of her 22-year career, Robin has accumulated a range of healthcare experience working on projects from tenant suite build-outs to replacement hospitals. She provides value to clients through research and understanding market and design trends. Robin’s approach is based on collaboration and building consensus. She is skilled in coordinating and facilitating varied client, user, and stakeholder groups to develop creative design solutions that improve the healthcare experience.