5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your New Dental Office
Posted by HJT Design
Ask any well-established dentist, and you’ll discover all of the dos and don’ts of an office remodel project. Experience will tell you what important factors not to overlook, and which tips can be ignored. Not all advice is good advice, and those who have actually been through a dental office redesign will be best qualified to tell you what to expect throughout the process.
Some of the most basic words of advice the experts might give you include:
Don’t be in a hurry; plan your renovation process thoughtfully and carefully, because this is a long-term investment. It is not a quick and easy process. Know your budget and be realistic about which changes can be made within that allotted amount. A total office redesign is expensive, so don’t have high expectations on a nickel-and-dime budget. Everyone will be disappointed with the results if you do, and you likely won’t see a high return-on-investment afterward.
That’s all rather common-sense information to consider, but here are five common mistakes you’ll want to avoid for a successful dental office renovation.
1. Don’t Forget About Your Dental Staff’s Needs During a Dental Office Renovation.
Remember that you depend on your staff completely for the daily operations of your practice. From your support staff who perform the clerical and guest services aspects of your work to the hygienists who assist you during every treatment, you want them to feel satisfied, confident, and capable to perform their tasks fully and effectively. Talk to them and keep them informed about all of the planned changes and ask for their feedback along the way. They’ll feel valued and important to the success of the practice and you’ll likely see the high-quality work as a result.
2. Don’t Forget to Plan for the Future.
Don’t simply plan your office redesign around what your immediate needs are. This process is a lengthy and expensive one, so plan to make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don’t think only about replacing outdated equipment in the office, but also consider what kinds of services you might want to add to your practice, and what specific details would need to be considered to allow the additional services. Do you need to redesign your patient treatment rooms accordingly? Do you need to consider adding additional square footage to your existing building? Is your patient demographic slowly changing, forcing you to reconsider the look and feel of your office design? Think “big-picture” during your planning process, and not just about finding solutions to today’s problems.
3. Don’t Forget About the Current Laws, Regulations and Codes That Exist for Dental Offices.
If you’re planning to undergo major renovations, construction, or remodeling to your current dental office, now’s a good time to consider how those changes must fit within the scope of established laws, regulations, and building codes. Is your office currently in complete compliance with all ADA codes? If not, this is your opportunity to finally make those corrections. Do all of your ideal changes fit within the boundaries of ADA regulations? Make adaptions when necessary. Don’t forget that any type of building construction taking place must comply with all established laws or regulations for your area. A consulting team that works closely with building contractors will be best equipped to help you navigate the sea of building codes and accessibility requirements that you’ll need to follow.
4. Don’t Cut Corners to Save Money.
Be prepared. A dental office redesign is expensive. There are a few ways to save some money throughout the process, such as buying pre-owned (but good quality) dental furniture, less expensive dental equipment brands, or laminate flooring, but there are other, highly visible expenses that should never be compromised over. Don’t skimp on labor and installation costs- the safety of your staff and patients depends on furniture being assembled correctly, cabinets being hung properly, and walkways measured accurately. Don’t purchase cheap waiting room furniture or cheap room décor. These things will detract many patients from coming back. If they think that you’ve neglected the aesthetic look of your dental office, what else might you be skimping on when it comes to the quality care of their teeth?
5. Don’t Target the Wrong People.
You might be wondering, “how can any patient be the wrong patient?” Although being willing to serve any patient is an important part of the job, you should know who your ideal patient, or target patient, is. This will determine how you design your waiting room, which types of exam chairs you may purchase, and what amenities you’ll offer while your patients wait. Are you hoping to attract more families with children? If so, you’ll want the design of your office to be family-friendly in nature. Are you hoping to serve a growing senior citizen population? If so, you’ll need to consider patient mobility concerns in the design of your office. Don’t just think about the changes you’d like to see occur. Remember that your patients will have different tastes, needs, and expectations from a dentist. Your goal should always be to appeal to the best patient group for your practice.
Don’t let a few simple mistakes keep you from seeing the ultimate return on investment from your dental office renovation. Strategic planning with the help of industry experts can keep you on track to completing a beautiful, functional, and modern looking redesign with few hiccups along the way.
HJT Dental Design Consultants can help you get started on a dental office redesign plan. Contact us today to receive answers to all of your questions and discover how now is the right time to get started.