First impressions are important. No, a lousy waiting area may not necessarily reflect your abilities as a dentist, but the patient experience is part and parcel of a successful dental office. Basically, what happens outside of your treatment area is equally as important as what happens inside. That's why you need to consider your patient's needs at every step when remodeling your office. Here are 5 ways to impress your dental patients with your office remodel.
1. Keep Them Occupied
One of the most uncomfortable parts of going to the dentist is the wait time. When your already anxious, even a 10-minute wait can feel like an agonizing hour. You can help your patients avoid this unpleasant experience by keeping them more occupied during their wait. Most dental offices choose to have a television or radio playing in the waiting room, and while this is better than nothing you can — and should — do better.
2. Keep Them Informed
As we said, the waiting period is one of the most uncomfortable parts of a trip to the dentist. This is partially true because patients feel that they have no control over their situation. One way to combat this feeling is with information. For example, a simple screen that shows the patient's name along with an estimated wait time can do wonders to ease dental anxiety. Just be sure you are prepared to keep this information accurate as possible at all times because having information that is wrong is worse than having no information at all!
3. Appeal To Their Senses
Patients are used to their dentist's offices being stuffy and drab, but that doesn't mean they like it. A lifeless, stifling interior can make what is already an anxiety-inducing experience that much worse. Fortunately, there's absolutely no reason that your office can't look and feel great. Proper use of color and sticking to tried-and-true design standards can elevate you above the competition. An example of this would be painting your walls a soothing color to make your office seem less sterile.
4. Make Your Designs Interactive
Interactive designs are another way to keep your patients occupied during their wait. This is especially great with kids, who often cite boredom as the main reason that they dislike going to the dentist. You can provide interactivity to your patients in a number of ways including
- User-controlled media content
- Digital sign-in stations
just to name a few. Remember, you don't have to go all out here. Even introducing a small amount of interactivity into your waiting room will keep patients satisfied while they wait.
5. Stay Up To Date
A dental office that looks like it's straight out of the 1990s is an immediate red flag for many patients. They will immediately be set on-edge wondering what else in the office isn't quite up to date — perhaps some of the more important aspects such as your dental equipment or techniques. So, ditch the large tube televisions, dated magazines, and shag carpeting for more modern designs and amenities.
By keeping these 5 design tips in mind you can ensure that your new dental office really impresses your patients. A good first impression will lead to less anxiety for the patient and more exposure for your practice. If you have any more questions about designing a dental office that is pleasing for both patients and practitioners don't hesitate to contact us at HJT design today.