If you are starting a new dental office, it can be an exciting time. You get to design the perfect dental clinic for you (and your staff)! You can make it as big as you need, and decide where you want everything so that it runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. However, this can also be quite overwhelming. Many people think that most of the decisions that a dental practice owner needs to make should be guided by common sense, and many of them are. However, some choices that make sense now may cause problems for you, the quality of dental care, and your bottom line in the long term. Thinking about what makes a successful dental practice now can help you avoid common mistakes that could really affect your new practice.
Here are some of the most common problems that you want to avoid.
1. Poor User Experience
If you don’t plan properly (and think about how much space you really need), your office can quickly become cluttered chaotic or even dangerous. If your dental staff doesn’t have enough room to move around and do what they need to do, it is only a matter of time before someone trips over a patient. It will be even worse if a patient trips and gets injured at your office. You could be facing legal issues. One of the best ways to avoid a bad experience is to create a clear traffic flow, so that your potential patients and staff will be able to move around freely, without backtracking around and running into each other.
2. The needs of your staff members
You need to make sure that each of your staff has the room needed to work. Your front office needs enough room for files, as well as room to be able to move around and talk to patients. Your dental hygienists need room to move around their chairs in order to best care for the new patients. If your chairs are too close, nobody is going to get the care that they need.
3. Efficient use of space
When planning your office, you need to use your space wisely. Most people thing about providing enough space for the front desk staff, creating a comfortable reception area, and providing an efficient and welcoming treatment room. But many people loos site of some of the less obvious details like designating space for the equipment that you are going to need, as well as some room for storage. You have to plan a comfortable waiting room and area for people to check out, so that they can comfortably talk about their finances without everyone listening in.
4. Choosing aesthetics vs functionally
Though you want your office to look as nice as possible, you need to think about certain standards that need to be followed in terms of basic hygiene. You are going to need to make sure that you can wipe all of your surfaces off (including the walls and ceilings). You also need to make sure that your floors are easy to clean and are slip-resistant. That being said, you can come up with a plan that looks nice, but it is also functional.
Lighting is essential in dental offices. You need to be able to see in order to do your job. However, you also need to think about your patient’s needs. Most of them are in pain or anxious. Lights that are too bright can be upsetting to people. For this reason, you should try to use natural light as much as possible. This will help with everyone’s moods, plus it will help you save on your electricity bill!
6. Planning for future expansion
Though you may only be thinking about what you need now, the truth is that you need to think about the future. You don’t want to go through this whole process, only to have to update and restore in a few years. Think about equipment that you might like to get in the future. Do you have enough rooms available if you end up adding another new dentist or a few hygienists? Do you think you might like to add more services in the future? What space would you need for that?
7. Choosing an inexperienced contractor
Choosing the wrong contractor can make a big difference. You are going to need someone who understands the needs of a new dental practice and what you need. You are going to want to choose someone who can help you figure out the best layout for your needs, as well as your needs in the future. Working wth an inexperienced contractor can lead to costly mistakes.
So, what can you do?
If you are serious about designing the perfect dental office the best way to make sure you have a successful practice and get what you need is to hire an experienced commercial contractor. Let us help you with your planning process so we can create the kind of dental offices that elevates a patient’s experience. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at Hill Commercial Construction. We would be happy to make your vision a reality!