One of the greatest ways to grow and expand a dental practice is by that coveted patient referral. Word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied patients is the ideal way to assure new patients that they will receive superior service without question. When you give your patients an unforgettable experience that meets their needs and expectations, they’ll keep coming back time and time again, and they’ll refer your dental practice to their friends along the way.
One of the most significant factors that can influence patient experience is dental office design. Including the right design elements can impact your patient expectations from the moment they pull into your parking lot and will influence their feelings throughout the rest of the visit. If you want your patients to feel calm and confident about the dental care they receive from your practice, here are seven ways your dental office design will improve their complete patient experience.
7 Dental Office Design Ideas to Improve Your Patient Experience
Get up to Code
The Americans with Disability Act of 1996 created a consistent standard for which every business had to comply to ensure that all Americans could be fairly and justly served, regardless of their handicap or disability. A front entrance with a well-constructed ramp or automatic door shows all patients that they are welcome. Handicap accessible restrooms allow your patients easy use while visiting your office. A front check-in desk should be low enough that wheelchair users can properly see the office staff, and all hallways and pathways should offer proper clearance for those patients with mobility issues to navigate safely and easily.
Your patients live in the digital age and have for quite some time. Be sure your office is on par with changing technology. Simple uses of technology can save your patients valuable time and help improve their oral health as well. Offer new patients an option to fill out Patient History or Registration forms online and email them back to your office. Send out text reminders to your patients about upcoming appointments. Digital check-ins upon arrival using tablets can eliminate lines of patients waiting to check-in for their appointments. Finally, sending out educational blog posts and newsletters through email, on your website, and through social media can offer your patients helpful oral hygiene tips and valuable information while they are away from your office that they might not think to discuss during their visit.
Provide Free WiFi
It may not seem like much, but this simple amenity allows your patients an opportunity to stay connected to the Internet and occupy themselves while they wait. Offering free wifi will come at a minimal cost to your practice, but the effort will definitely keep your patients happy while they wait.
Keep Kids and Parents Happy with a Child-Friendly Waiting Room
Your patients don’t want to listen to children crying or complaining about being seen by the dentist, and parents don’t want to fight with their children about staying off of the furniture or not being wild and disruptive. Having a kid-friendly dental office design can help minimize these common problems. While they are waiting to be seen, have puzzles, video games, simple toys, or even a tv available for kids to watch. This will help children focus their attention while waiting, and that will make everyone happy!
Open Floor Plans are the Way to Go
When designing a dental office floor plan, consider an open one. We are, by nature, creatures of habit. We live in open floor plans, and we like them. It’s only natural that we’ll feel more comfortable in open spaces-and the dentist office is no different. Open dental office floor plans allow patients a clear view of what’s happening throughout the office. People tend to trust what they can see and are more confident in the level of care they’ll receive in the process. Open treatment rooms allow for collaboration and open communication between dentists and hygienists and can be helpful for parents who might have multiple children being seen at one time.
Lighting Leaves a Lasting Impression
When considering dental office design ideas, don’t forget that the right kind of lighting can impact how your patients perceive your dental office. The right lighting can have a calming effect on patients who might otherwise be anxious about a dental visit. Lighting will enhance certain aspects of your aesthetic and direct attention to the most important areas of your office.
Sturdy, Comfortable Furniture is a Must
Gone are the days of cheap, hard waiting room chairs that hurt people’s backs. Those chairs tend to make patients more restless and irritable. Be sure that your patients have comfortable, solid furniture to sit on while waiting, but don’t go too comfy-you want your patients to be able to sit in and get out of your waiting room chairs easily. It will make patients happier, help children to sit quietly, and offer better support for your elderly patients or those with mobility or support concerns. While you’re at it, double check all of your patient treatment chairs to ensure that all are in pristine working condition, so every patient has a comfortable and safe dental experience.
For more information on how you can add a few important dental office design ideas to drastically improve your patient experience, contact the industry experts at HJT Dental Design Consultants today. We can transform your office design and turn every element into an asset for your practice.