If someone were to envision the ideal spot for an orthodontic office, it would probably be that of Kokodynski Orthodontics in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The practice is adjacent to the city’s middle school and across the street from its high school, making it easy for many patients to walk right over!
“A more streamlined sterilization process has allowed our staff more chair time with patients.”
Kokodynski Orthodontics has been open since May 2012, and growth has been steady. When compared to last year, new patient consultations are up 10 percent and revenue has increased 5 percent. Parents are drawn to the office for the simple convenience of how easily an appointment can be worked into their children’s school days.
“Because of our location—within walking distance of the local high school and middle school—our early morning and after-school rushes have eased up as kids make use of their lunch hours, study halls, and other slower times of their days to come to the office for their adjustment appointments,” notes Dr. Andy Kokodynski.
For many doctors, the driving force in a move to a new office is to replace dated equipment or address a flawed floor plan that is inefficient or lacking space. However, that was not the case for Dr. Kokodynski.
“Our previous 3,200-square foot office was designed quite well with the help of Henry Schein 10 years ago. It was more of a tweaking that was needed to get me to where I wanted to be, from front-desk function to treatment-area patient flow,” he says. “Considering the benefits of owning my own building versus renting, we embarked on finding property to build a freestanding building and building it out to hold our office. When a one-acre property came up for sale by our local middle school and high school, from a visibility standpoint, it was a ‘no brainer.’ ”
He realized building a new office would not be an easy endeavor, but partnering with experts in the process was his key to success. He relied on an entire team that worked with him to ensure the office had the feel and ambiance he wanted as well as the proper infrastructure for technology.
“Henry Schein Interior Designer Cindi Matt was great to work with and added character to the space,” says the doctor. “And Digital Technology Specialist Aaron Rowley took care of our needs for expansion of computer equipment, from servers to workstations.
“Equipment Specialist Dan Kroeger set me up with an employee-owned design/build company here in Wisconsin,” Dr. Kokodynski continues. “We arranged a meeting fairly quickly to start the process. It was definitely a learning experience. Between city planning, architectural design, construction, and move in, the entire process ran very smoothly. Trips to other offices built by the local company and equipped by Henry Schein gave me quite a bit of information to help organize my ideas and put them on paper.”
Partnering with experts who listen is important, but it is also essential that they provide guidance and frank opinions. “Whether you are building a house or a business, decisions need to be made,” he says. “Often, it is between two or three ideas. I found it helpful to ask the builders, equipment specialists, and interior designers: ‘What would you do?’ Don’t be afraid to go with their recommendations. I found out it is usually the best choice.”
The practice is now 4,900 square feet, significantly larger than the previous office, and it has six active treatment areas and separate patient areas for banding and de-banding. In the previous office, there was a large open treatment bay, but the new office makes use of divider walls, providing privacy for patients but allowing kids to talk to their family or friends at the six- and twelve-o’clock positions.
Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the office with natural light, and in the reception area, custom “cloud” features hang from the ceiling to create interest in the high vertical space. The walls come alive with textured wallpaper and paint treatments, and the floors consist of a mix of colorful carpet tiles arranged in different directions and durable vinyl tiles in the most heavily trafficked areas. Although the office does not have a specific theme that could one day become outdated, it is decorated to be homey and welcoming, using classic colors, furniture, and fabrics that lend warmth to the office.
“I included my office staff in a lot of the interior design selection of colors and fabrics,” recalls Dr. Kokodynski. “They were very excited as we made office trips to the construction site to watch how their thoughts and ideas were implemented in the build out. I have surrounded myself with a good group of people, and it was fun to watch how they enjoyed putting it together and seeing it all put to use.”
From a technology standpoint, Mr. Rowley provided Kokodynski Orthodontics with a state-of-the-art setup that included a new Dell server, computers at each workstation and networking that connects the doctor’s Lake Geneva office to a satellite office he operates in nearby Burlington, Wisconsin.
Another benefit to the new office is in an area that patients don’t see: the sterilization suite, which is equipped with Pelton & Crane, Midmark, SciCan, and a Vista Pure Water System that eliminates the need for distilled and bottled water.
“A more streamlined sterilization process has allowed our staff more chair time with patients,” says the doctor. “This has enabled them to give an even more personalized visit, which makes patients and their parents more comfortable with our office.”
Overall, the new office has allowed the doctor to fine-tune the workflow of his office, create the image he wanted to project to the community, and secure his future at a location that was spectacularly suited for his business.
“I feel our move has ensured success for me and my staff for the long term,” says Dr. Kokodynski. “Being busy was never an issue, but the future should motivate a person to make sure the stress of practice vitality doesn’t become an issue. This move has done that!”