When you walk into a dental office, what is the first thing you notice? Probably the waiting room, or the reception desk, full of phones and friendly faces.
But what about the spaces you DON’T see?
We’ve compiled this list of the TOP 9 SPACES you never knew you needed in your office… and some of them might surprise you! These nine spaces are proven to drastically improve efficiency and productivity in your office… PLUS, many will improve your patient’s experience and satisfaction— so pay close attention!
1) Staff Lounge: For huddle, not for lounging! Every practice needs a space to gather as a team, go over the schedule for the day, discuss the patients to be seen and any anticipated actions that will be required. You need a staff lounge large enough to accommodate your entire staff… a place to meet, interview, strategize, and celebrate. Also, a staff that eats together stays together.
2) Treatment Coordinator’s Office: Your treatment coordinator needs a place, centrally located, where they can monitor the flow of the office. While most of a treatment coordinator’s time will be spent on the floor, he or she needs a place to go to for follow-up management in order to track and continue to build a relationship with patients (who is all likelihood will take months to make a buying decision.) This space is designed to act as a control hub, but should also double as a consult room.
3) Call Center: Absolutely ESSENTIAL for multi-location practices and really for any practice focusing on increasing new patient numbers and patient recall percentages. What becomes obvious to any practice that makes the commitment to remove the majority of the phone traffic from the front desk is that new patient scheduling and treatment acceptance simultaneously increase. This is because a dedicated call center removes the distraction of potential patients from staff members who can much better be focused on the REAL patients surrounding them.
4) Marketing Director’s Office: You do have a marketing director… right? Quite simply— it is not possible to hold the position of marketing director while simultaneously maintaining a job like the keeper of the schedule of the recall coordinator. While that may happen at the beginning of a period of growth for a smaller office, one needs to plan on making the rapid change to having a dedicated marketing person. To do that you need a space… even a small one that simply allows the marketing director to man the phones, negotiate contracts, and plan for the future ahead.
5) Treatment Rooms: We’re not being coy. Seriously, almost every practice we work with is a room short. When the “average” treatment room takes up 100+ sq. feet and costs $50K, it’s no wonder you don’t have any “extra”. Our goal is to treat operatories like commodities. Make them smaller (which in turn makes them more productive and less intimidating to patients) by removing side cabinetry.
6) Shipping & Receiving: This space doesn’t need to be huge, but it’s extremely cumbersome to have piles of packages delivered and dumped behind the front desk, or smack dab in the middle of the sterilization area. A little foresight of a few sq. feet near your private egress can save a lot of frustration AND patient perception.
7) Mobile Technology: Another frequently overlooked area that can be as small as a closet. This small space is responsible for a marked increase in doctor per hour production. On a per sq. foot basis, this is perhaps the most profitable and PRODUCTIVE area of the practice. This area is needed to accommodate all of the mobile technologies that you should bring to bear on an hour-to-hour and day-by-day basis. It should be close in proximity to, but discrete from, the center of your treatment room areas.
8) Clinical Patient Restroom: Usually located off the main treatment room corridor, this space allows your patients a semi-private area to use the facilities should the need arise during treatment.
9) Private Egress: While not necessarily a “space”, an egress is usually a very easy addition that is often overlooked. This is a method for your staff to enter and exit the office privately and out of view from patients, giving them to prepare themselves to go “on stage”.