Designing your dental office is about more than color, you need to create a space that reflects your success and growth. If you do it right, the design you choose for your office will set the stage for future growth and help you increase productivity in your team. Mistakes you make in the planning and design stage can affect your growth, and even lower the bottom line by forcing you to overspend.
Here are common mistakes you are bound to make in the design process, and tips on how to avoid them.
Poor User Experience
Failing to plan for and create a space that optimizes the user experiences can easily become a liability. Once you create a dental office with insufficient working space for team members, it is only a matter of time before you or your team members trip over a patient. Such incidences can easily escalate to compliance issues with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) or the ADA (American Dental Association).
Create a circular path, which eliminates bumping and back tracking. Patients will follow a linear path giving your staff easier access to supplies and to each other.
Separating Technology from Construction
The best way to create a design disaster is to create your office plan and then try to fit in your equipment thereafter. You will have difficulty running cables, moving bulky equipment, storing machines and creating a functional floor plan.
Spend time with your contractor explaining all the equipment you will need in each room, storage needs for all your equipment and the power supply for all the rooms. Including this information in the planning stage makes sure you create functional rooms to accommodate all your technological and storage needs.
Choosing Aesthetics Over Functionality
Often, you will choose materials that look good and give your office space a sophisticated look. However, you must remember that dental office design must also cater to your hygiene standards. For example, all surfaces must be easy to clean, slip-resistant, chemical resistant, sturdy enough for your equipment and resistant to microbial growth. Communicating these considerations with your contractor early ensures you have the best materials for both functionality and aesthetics.
Most people who visit the dentist’s office are in pain and would rather be elsewhere. Poor lighting makes your patients tense or angry and can lead to aggression. Planning your lighting properly puts patients at ease and helps relax eyestrain. Try to use natural light as much as possible; it easy on the eyes, it creates a reassuring connection with nature and can provide psychological boost for your patients and team members. People are also more alert and energetic in natural light. Additionally, planning your lighting properly helps you save on your energy bill.
Delegate the Planning
Many dentists delegate a lot of the planning to contractors who may not understand your needs fully. Before engaging a contractor, make a list of your immediate and future dental practice needs. For example, if you plan to bring in X-ray equipment in the future, plan for a dark room. Make a list of all your staff members and try to identify how much space each person needs and share it with the project designer. This will also help you design a space that encourages sharing and collaboration.
Dental office design starts with proper planning. You must think about your patients, staff and your work. You also need to consider functionality, hygiene, patient comfort, staff mobility and future expansion. Spend as much time with the designer as possible to ensure you get an office that helps you grow and excel.
For dental office design tips, contact us or schedule a consultation.