The front desk of your dental practice is incredibly important to the efficiency and effectiveness of your practice as a whole. An improperly designed front desk can cause all kinds of issues, potentially making your dental practice environment an unpleasant experience for both patients and staff. The following are a few elements that help contribute to a successful front desk design. If you don't have these elements, you may want to consider renovating your front desk area.
1. Does your staff have plenty of space?
Although you'll want to make as much use of your office space as possible to accommodate your patients (you need plenty of space for treatment rooms and for your waiting room, after all), you won't want to restrict your staff to a small front desk area. The smaller the front desk area is, the more difficult it's going to be for your staff to stay organized.
A lot of paperwork will be flowing through your front desk. If your staff needs to store or retrieve paperwork outside of the front desk area, then you know it's too small. Not to mention that you don't want your staff to get in each other's way, especially if you have more than one person working at the front desk.
Essentially, if your front desk area is too small, it's going to hurt the efficiency of your practice, which is going to frustrate not just your front desk staff, but also your patients.
2. Is your front desk area comfortable?
One of the reasons you need plenty of space in the front desk area is to ensure that your staff is comfortable. Your front desk staff is going to spend the better part of the day in that area, which means you'll want to keep them comfortable to ensure that they remain happy and productive. Besides space, make sure you invest in quality chairs and that you add design elements that promote energy and productivity. For example, use yellow or green colors and add a bit of plant life to add a natural touch to the feel of the space.
3. Does the front desk oversee the waiting area?
You'll want to make sure your front desk oversees the waiting area. This way, when you call patients back to the treatment rooms, you can make sure that they hear you. When the front desk isn't near the waiting area, there's a disconnect between your staff and the patients that can make communication more challenging than it needs to be.
4. Does the front desk oversee the entrance?
In addition to making sure your front desk oversees the waiting room, it should also be in view of the entrance. This is for the sake of your patients. You won't want patients wandering around trying to figure out where they need to go once they arrive. If they can see the front desk from the entrance, it will make things much more organized and efficient in regards to the check-in process.
5. Do you have separate check-in and check-out areas?
One of the biggest front desk mistakes you can make is to not have separate areas for checking in and out. If you use the same area of the desk for check ins and check outs, it's going to cause a bottleneck of patients, which is going to make getting through difficult and the process of checking in or out longer than it should be.
If your front desk isn't designed well, contact us at HJT Dental Design Consultants for information on how you can improve your front desk area.