A doctor can be certain he has outgrown his space when incoming patients are overflowing from his lobby into the public areas of the building or waiting in their cars for their appointments. This was the reality for Dr. Chad Street and the East Kentucky Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, PSC practice.
Dr. Street’s Pikeville practice encompassed a large rural area of the state: many patients traveled a great distance to see him. His 1,200-square foot space, which contained only two treatment rooms and one exam room, was far too small for the patient load he had. The office’s small footprint also restricted him from fully embracing the latest equipment and technology to enhance his patients’ diagnostics and comfort, and the management of paper files and paperwork was a serious problem.
Although it was a big decision to build a new dental office from the ground up, it wasn’t a difficult one once Dr. Street located a parcel of land that met his criteria. In Pikeville, there is very little flat terrain, but he managed to find a two-acre lot in a high-traffic area that had excellent visibility and backed up to small lake, making it a picturesque spot. It was a beautiful piece of property that he drove by every day on his way to work.
Staff Input Vital to Dental Office Design
The new office has five treatment rooms for oral surgery and cosmetic procedures and two exam rooms. Dr. Street and Sean Mann solicited the feedback of the staff and patients for the treatment areas. The operatories are furnished with Midmark oral surgery chairs, surgical lights, and cabinetry, as well as an Accutron nitrous system. The light-stained cabinets were custom-built, including slide outs and drawer configurations to match how the doctor and his staff work. Contrasting solid-surface counters in an earthy brown complement the cabinets and add warmth to the room. Frosted glass panel doors that create a feeling of openness further accentuate the bright, expansive feeling in the treatment rooms.
“Our patient care has improved immensely and with a more ergonomic work environment and better patient flow, we can see more patients and care for them in a more aesthetically pleasing environment”, said Dr. Street.
New Dental Office an Inviting Place
Today, the new dental office, which opened in August, is a 5,400-square-foot wonder of design and comfort. Henry Schein’s design team worked closely with Dr. Street to create a layout proven to be not only more efficient for oral and maxillofacial practices like his, but also very warm and soothing to patients.
“The doctor wanted to be sure the interior design and décor were a reflection of his serious commitment to superior care and instilled confidence in his patients,” noted Sean Mann, the Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist who worked with Dr. Street on the construction of the office.
Patients first encounter the breathtaking waiting area, which features a massive curved check-in desk, custom-built for the office. There is seating for 14 patients, and the walls hold two flat-screen televisions that broadcast regular TV programming and educational videos. The flooring in the lobby and the hallways—from Armstrong’s Natural Creations line—combines the rich look of walnut-colored wood planks with the durability and strength of vinyl flooring. A separate waiting area, with a plush couch and a 42″ flat-screen TV, is available for high-profile patients or those who prefer added privacy.
“A lot of thought and input from everyone on staff went into designing the operatories,” said Mann. “We sat with the staff and asked them what they liked. I also talked with patients to gauge their thoughts. I think everyone is much happier, [not only] because of the added space, but also with the way it’s laid out.”
Looking up, patients can view their digital X-rays or watch cable TV on the flat-screen monitors affixed to the ceiling arms above them. In addition, the entire office is wired for sound, and controls in each operatory allow the staff and patients to listen to satellite radio, local stations, or a custom mix from their iPod® or iPad® devices. The staff has computer stations in each room, as well.
Workflow Enhances Production and Patient Treatment
Previously, the front-desk staff worked in such close proximity that they couldn’t help but get in each other’s way. With the much larger waiting area, the team is now more efficient and can prevent bottlenecks during check-in and checkout. A separate, private exit is convenient and discreet for patients, and its covered porch protects them from bad weather. Now completely paperless, the team enjoys even greater efficiency in its procedures.
Unseen by most patients, the custom Midmark sterilization center—a critical area that greatly impacts the staff and how they can care for patients—was also carefully constructed for maximum production and uninterrupted workflow.
“We watched how the staff utilized the sterilization room. Where were the logjams? What was keeping them from getting into surgery?” said Mann. “The doctor’s wife, Rose Street, had worked in the office previously, so she had practical experience with some of these challenges and great ideas for addressing them.”
New Dental Technology and Cutting-edge Equipment are Key
Patients now have plenty of room and are benefiting from state-of-the-art equipment. Dr. Street knew immediately that he wanted the precision and powerful functionality of the i-CAT to be part of his new practice. The Cone Beam unit has many benefits he can share with patients: highly accurate 3D imaging of critical structures and anatomy, surgical prediction, superior implant planning, and the ability to show patients what he is seeing so they better understand and accept his recommended treatment plan. In fact, now that Dr. Street utilizes i-CAT technology, he doesn’t know how he practiced without it. DEXIS digital sensors have benefited the practice as well: they are easier to use, offer superb imaging, are more comfortable for patients, and they eliminate the hassle and expense of film and chemicals, which were substantial with their robust patient load.
Referring doctors are happy to see the new equipment and space, too, knowing that their patients are receiving the best possible care from Dr. Street, close to home.
Unique Needs Are Met
Now that he had an office that was five times the size of his previous one, Dr. Street worked with Henry Schein to address other needs that were completely unique to his business.
The doctor teaches ongoing continuing education classes to many of his colleagues and is involved with the local dental society, so he wanted an oversized, gorgeous conference room to host meetings and conferences. It was outfitted with a gigantic wood conference table, wall-mounted computer screen with video inputs, comfortable chairs, and a full-size refrigerator and kitchen area.
Upstairs, a well-appointed apartment was constructed and furnished to accommodate the oral and maxillofacial residents who work and train alongside Dr. Street many months of the year. Because of the practice’s rural location, he realized that is was more convenient for residents to stay right at the practice in their own private apartment rather than drive back and forth each day.
A Transformed Practice Welcomes More Patients
Although the new office has been open just a few months, the transformation to the practice has been remarkable. Dr. Street treats 30 to 40 patients a day and performs more than 200 surgeries per month. Even with that intense volume, the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, and with the introduction of the new equipment, the workflow accommodates the growing, busy practice.
“Our patient care has improved immensely and with a more ergonomic work environment and better patient flow, we can see more patients and care for them in a more aesthetically pleasing environment,” commented Dr. Street.
“I worked with Henry Schein to design my dream office,” he continued. “Together, we went through many floor plans before coming up with ‘the one.’ Now patients can receive state-of-the-art treatment close to home.”