You may have been mulling it over for months — or perhaps even years — and now, at last, you are ready to move forward and make your dental office renovation vision a reality. To help make the experience successful and rewarding, here are three best practices to keep in mind:
1. Schedule the renovation strategically.
For many dentists, the biggest concern they have regarding a dental office renovation is the possibility of being forced to shut down their practice — which is obviously not desirable. There are a couple of ways to mitigate or eliminate this risk.
One option is to execute the work in phases, which would enable the practice to remain open throughout the renovation. Obviously, the drawback here is that some of the practice will need to be cordoned off, and while the renovation itself might not take more time (i.e. the number of total hours may remain the same), the overall end date will be extended.
Another option is to shift more work to off-hours, such as evenings and weekends. The drawback here is that labor costs will be higher (since specialists and trades will charge premium rates), and for practices in some locations (such as malls) this may not be possible per property management rules.
2. Focus on patient-centric design.
Patients are highly influenced by the look and feel of a dental practice — both consciously and subconsciously — and this in turn impacts everything from anxiety levels, to proposed treatment plan adoption. The critical element is whether the design is patient-centric, which means that it embraces elements like:
- Soft and/or natural lighting (a study found that people feel emotions more intensely when experienced under bright light).
- Deploying separate chairs so that strangers do not have to share the same seating, which can be awkward.
- Providing suitable entertainment and Wi-Fi access.
- Enhancing esthetics with artwork, rugs, miniature fountains (the sound of which can also soothe nervous patients), etc.
- Allowing reception staff to keep an eye on the waiting room vs. have their back to it (or be separated from it by a wall), so they can ensure that patients are comfortable.
- Paying attention to traffic flows, and making it as simple as possible for patients to head in the right direction.
3. Take full advantage of value engineering.
Value engineering is a construction approach that explores viable alternatives for materials, methods, transportation, organizing, and so on. The essential concept is to maintain — or in some cases, increase — the design vision, but at a lower overall cost. In some cases, the savings can be substantial.
To learn more about these dental office renovation best practices, contact the Key Interiors team today. We have in-depth experience serving clients in the dental and medical field. Your consultation with us is free.
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