Achieve an Effortless Workflow With These Top 5 Design Tips for Dentist Offices
So, you’re just about to open a new dental practice, or your current office needs an upgrade. How can you design a functional, modern, and visually pleasing layout? Here are some practical dental office design tips to keep in mind as you brainstorm:
1. Consolidate Spaces To Accommodate Workflow
One common mistake in dental offices is designing a workflow based on the available space instead of the other way around. Successful designs use a workflow-first approach to maximize efficiency, such as consolidating sterilization equipment in a single room.
For example, you could have unwashed tools in one work area, ready-to-use tools in another, and cleaning products/equipment nearby. Also, consider using the natural layout to separate sections rather than physical structures or walls, as it prevents staff from walking more than necessary and bumping into each other.
But how can you tell whether your changes are able to increase dental production? Consider upgrading to the Dental Intelligence dashboard, which provides advanced metric tracking and analytics for key performance indicators. You can analyze data, gain critical insights, and turn practice management into growth opportunities.
2. Find Hidden Space by Repurposing a Closet or Office
Is your dental office at capacity? Would you like more patients but lack the physical space necessary to accommodate them? You just might have more space than you realize. Of course, a complete room renovation and upgrade involves a significant investment and construction process. However, the ROI (return on investment) may be worth it.
Look around for a poorly utilized or unused space, like a closet, storage room, or office you could convert into a patient or procedure room. If you need help consolidating, consider hiring a design team to help you. Unless you’re HGTV-ready (and most of us aren’t), investing in professional design services will make the remodeling process faster, safer, easier, and hassle-free.
3. Consider Optimizing Your Workflow with a New Layout
For most dentists, utilizing a “U” or horseshoe-shaped workflow provides the greatest efficiency. In this type of layout, patients enter the reception area, continue through a hall into their treatment room, and then leave through the opposite side. The result is a smooth, natural workflow that prevents traffic jams.
Another example would be creating identical treatment rooms with the same setup and supplies. Ultimately, it allows staff to perform regular dental services in any treatment room, which prevents “bunching” and eliminates the risk of delays and long waits for the patients.
4. Upgrade Office Technology
Do you use paper forms and scheduling? If so, it’s time to consider going digital. At Dental Intelligence, we offer several advanced tools and cutting-edge software solutions that can streamline your practice, improve patient experience, and free up valuable time for your administrative staff.
One excellent example is our digital Patient Portal. Patients can fill out intake, consent, and privacy forms before arriving for their appointment. It allows you to admit patients faster and decreases wait times, ultimately improving daily production.
We also offer a Virtual Check-In, which eases the workload for your receptionists.
Those examples are simply a few ways our Dental Intelligence software allows you to increase production even without considering an increase in new patients. Furthermore, investing in new technologies improves patient experience and shows them you’re a modern, high-quality facility where quality of care matters.
5. Consider a Minimalist and Thoughtful Design
A bright, kid-friendly layout is acceptable for pediatric dentist offices, but adult-only practices may benefit from a minimalist and thoughtful design that maximizes patient comfort in the waiting area. Use clean, sleek lines, comfortable (but not oversized) furniture, modern technology, and a neutral color palette. Offer free Wi-Fi, beverages, snacks, and more amenities in the waiting room, and go light on the artwork and knick-knacks.
Design Your Dental Office to Support a Naturally Smooth Workflow
The five dental office design tips we just listed are an excellent starting point for new practices or renovations. If you’re interested in learning more about streamlining your business, improving patient experience, and maximizing efficiency in the office, we invite you to read more from our Dental Intelligence blog. Contact us today to schedule a demo with the Dental Intelligence team.