Recent research has shown that office design greatly impacts patient experience, particularly regarding dental practices. Everything – from the layout of the waiting room and the position of equipment in your operatories – makes an impact on your patient’s opinion and the likelihood that they will refer friends or family to your office. Understanding this information and making it work for you is crucial to building and growing a successful dental practice.
Why is Design So Important? While the treating doctor and his/her staff clearly have an effect on how a patient feels about a practice, studies show that visual first impressions really do win out. From the moment your patients walk through your door, they begin taking in the scenery around them and forming perceptions about the atmosphere you’ve created. Is the waiting room open and inviting, or is it crowded, cluttered, and closed off? Are the hallways brightly lit and spacious enough to accommodate multiple people at once? Is seating space adequate, or do patients feel forced to sit uncomfortably close to strangers while they wait to be called back?
One final question (one that all dentists designing a new office should ask): Are the operatories visible from the front desk? Patients generally do not wish to see rows of instruments or other patients undergoing treatment as they sign into the log or make their payments. The lobby area should be calm, comfortable, and evocative of exceptional quality. It is possible to achieve this without sacrificing your sense of style; it simply takes some ingenuity and some assistance from your consulting partner.
Other Components Worth Considering It’s also interesting to consider the differences in perception among male and female patients. Men, for example, cited televisions in waiting rooms and advanced technology as highly desirable in dental offices. Women, however, leaned more toward fashionable décor in operatories and warm, lavender-scented towels following treatment. Naturally, you can’t cater to every patient’s individual idea of the perfect office, but considering these statistics may help you in your decisions related to design and available amenities.
A talented and experienced consultant will help you break down the barriers between your office design and patient satisfaction. If you are experiencing difficulty maintaining or building your client base, consider taking a look at your office from your patient’s point of view. It may prove more beneficial than you may think.
For guidance with design and layout of your dental office space, contact our deal real estate brokers today.