(Dr. Mark Tholen is our guest blogger today at Sidekick Magazine)
Does Your Office Have Tired Blood?
Sometimes we don’t have the inclination or the opportunity to design and build a new office, but we know our current environment does not reflect our skill sets and capabilities.
This is a big problem…because our patients judge our clinical ability by assessing the things they understand in our office: the worn carpet, the condition of the chairs in the waiting room, the old radiographic equipment, and the dog-eared appearance of the dental equipment in the operatory.
So, how do we put our practice’s best foot forward without a total remodel of the office? In a word: facelift.
The effective office facelift consists of three elements: new furniture and finishes (carpet, wall coverings/paint, and art/accessories), new lighting throughout the office, and new dental equipment and technology. The quality of the furniture and finishes should reflect the level of care being proposed to the patients; Ritz Carlton hotels frame the expectation of the arriving guest with the exterior appearance of the building and lobby and we need to do the same with our waiting room and reception desk. The carpet should be medical grade as it will not stain (no matter what assaults it), the furniture should employ commercial grade fabric, and even the ten dollar print (art) should be contained in a $250 frame.
A lighting plan should be created for the office by an architect. The cost of the plan and the actual installation will be approximately $6.00/sq. ft., so a 2,000 sq.ft. office will cost $12,000 for beautiful new lighting. There is no bigger design bang for the buck than lighting!
The third element of the facelift is new dental equipment and technology. Patients can spot 20 year old equipment easily, and they can identify 10 year old technology with the blink of an eye. Nothing impresses a patient more than quick treatment with great esthetic results even if it is nothing more than a DO amalgam/resin on the maxillary right second bicuspid. Use 4 handed dentistry to quickly restore the tooth and a high definition intraoral camera to document the restoration. Show the patient the pathology, cavity prep, and final restoration.
The added value of speed and visualization of their treatment will create a superior experience for the patient and they will be twice as likely to refer new patients to your practice as opposed to the patient with a ‘good’ experience.