Dr. Mark Tholen speaks on the fundamentals of office design, the importance of functionality and aesthetics to office success, ergonomics, and operatory configuration.
Interviewer: What should you ask yourself before starting an office design project?
Dr. Mark Tholen: When you’re going to begin a dental office design and actually doing a new dental office, you have to ask yourself why am I doing this? And you need to articulate that answer. Don’t just think it, say it. Write it down. After you’ve written it down, then keep looking at it because so many of us loose sight of why we’re doing it. Most people do a new dental office because they want to earn more money. However, other people do it because they have too much stress in their life and they need more organization. Decide what it is and why you’re doing the office.
Interviewer: How important are functionality and aesthetics to the overall success of an office?
Dr. Mark Tholen: When we’re designing an office in order to create a successful environment there are two elements we want to think about. Functionality and aesthetics. Functionality is the ability to drive our production to an optimal level and to minimize our physical and emotional stress. Aesthetics on the other hand is the ability to communicate with our patients in a language they understand. So that we’re able to establish the quality, the care that we’re delivering through a visual medium to our patients.
Interviewer: What role do ergonomics play when designing treatment rooms?
Dr. Mark Tholen: Ergonomics really is the minimization of repetitive movement and over 70% of the doctors operating today have muscular-skeletal injuries as a result of misplaced equipment inside the operatory. Flexible, rear delivery systems are the best way for us to avoid repetitive movement injuries.
Interviewer: How do you recommend positioning clinical operatories in a typical 4-5 operatory office?
Dr. Mark Tholen: A cardinal rule in the design of a 5 op office would be I want all the operatories together on one wall and facing those operatories centrally located is sterilization on the opposite side of the clinical corridor.
Speaker: Mark Tholen, DDS, MBA