“What’s in a design?”
Well, if the topic is dental practice design, then there’s plenty to talk about – and much at stake, as well. Indeed, today’s patients have much higher expectations for comfort and care than previous generations; which helps explain why many dental practices look and feel more like high-end day spas than conventional health centers!
What’s more, given that dental practices are busy and at times stressful hubs of activity, hygienists, administrators and other team members are paying more attention to office design than ever before, too. That is, they are not just looking at the bottom-line on their paycheck – they are also looking at things like ergonomics, esthetics, environmental impact, lighting quality, and the list goes on. Having a well-designed dental practice can mean the difference between attracting and retaining top talent, or losing them to the competition.
However, there is no “template” dental office design, either – and that means each practice must develop a strategy and make choices that support their brand, patients and growth.
To point you in that direction, below are 3 questions to ask to get the best dental office design for your practice:
1. What is our budget?
The reason this question is so important – and why it should be the starting point – is simply because you do not want to waste your time developing a plan that may cost $100,000 if your budget is $50,000. Conversely, if wish to invest $100,000 in your a dental office design, then you want to explore options that would not otherwise be available if your budget was lower.
Much as how your patients need to have a solid idea of how much they can spend (or how much their insurance will cover) before you provide them with an in-depth consultation, you want to have a good idea of your financial picture, and use that as a basis for your plan going forward.
2. What are the goals of our practice?
Many dental office design projects focus – and quite rightly for that matter – on improving areas and aspect that have long since needed an overhaul, such as patient waiting areas, consultation rooms, sterilization stations, and so on. However, it is just as important to focus on the future, and ask yourself where you want (or perhaps need) your practice to head in the next 5-10 years.
For example, if you want to make your practice more “kid-friendly” to serve the growing population of young families in the area, then this goal is certainly a core design consideration that should influence your thinking and decision-making. Or if you are trying to focus on more cosmetic and esthetic solutions such as smile makeovers, then keeping that in mind will put your practice on the right track today, and for years to come.
3. When do we need to schedule the project?
It is very important to think ahead and schedule your redesign project at a time when it will cause the least amount of patient and/or staff disruption. For example, if November and December are among your busiest months (as patients want to look their best for holiday parties, as well as use their employee benefits before year end), then it would be wise to schedule the project at another time. Similarly, if a big portion of your patient roster is comprised of school-aged children, then a redesign in August would probably not be a good idea.
The good news is that you can build a multi-phase redesign plan that allows key improvements to be implemented in stages vs. all at once. This minimizes (or perhaps even eliminates) disruptions, yet allows you to move forward now vs. later. It can also be more cost-effective to proceed this way as well.
To learn more about how to get the best dental office design for your practice, contact Key Interiors today. Your consultation with us is free, and we have extensive experience serving clients in the dental and medical field.