Dental Operatory Design: How to Create the Right Environment for Your Practice
A dental operatory design should be functional, safe, and professional. ✓ Find out why design matters and how to create the perfect layout for your practice.Learn More
When establishing a dental practice, several boxes need to be checked off. However, one often overlooked area is a patient-friendly dental office waiting room.
Consider your front desk as an extension of your practice’s identity. Your practice’s brand is what distinguishes it from others in the region. It’s the essence of who you are. It’s just as essential to design a waiting room that reflects your practice’s brand and patient experience as it is to build your logo, advertising, and website.
After all, the very first impression new patients get of your practice is most likely your waiting room. To ensure your patients start their appointments on the right foot, we’re going to cover a few waiting room ideas that you can incorporate today.
Everyone has experienced feeling trapped in the doctor’s waiting room at some point. Waiting is annoying, but it is sometimes unavoidable. Appointments with the dentist frequently take longer than planned. To make matters worse, many people avoid going to the dentist because they are nervous.
They are concerned not just about the possibility of discomfort, if not outright pain, but also about the cost of treatment. The longer patients are forced to wait in an unpleasant office or clinic waiting room, the more nervous they get.
However, you can take small steps to assuage these concerns by creating a welcoming small waiting room design.
As can be expected, dentists and their staff want their patients’ experience to be pleasant, especially because some people become nervous just thinking about going to the dentist – even if it’s just for a standard checkup or a simple, brief treatment or filling. Here are a few small waiting room ideas you can incorporate to ensure a positive experience:
Before starting a new waiting room design by rearranging the furniture, you need to begin with your team. Your staff plays a critical part in establishing an appealing waiting area, starting with a kind, quick greeting for each patient. Ensure a staff member is constantly accessible at the front desk to check-in patients and answer inquiries, especially during those hectic lunch hours.
Every practice goes off schedule now and again. If you discover you’re running behind on appointments, make sure a front desk staff member informs patients. Patients will enjoy knowing when they may expect to visit a doctor. If there are significant delays, have your personnel contact patients who have not yet arrived. Let them know when they may come back or reschedule their appointments. Thank patients for their patience with a gift card or complimentary merchandise if they are already on-site. It’s a small yet considerate act that can make a big difference.
Many doctor’s offices have a similar clinic small waiting area design: rows and rows of antimicrobial seats, and clunky end tables piled high with ancient Highlights magazines with the differences already circled. However, these kinds of environments are pretty unsettling. Patients may feel uncomfortable when they’re forced to sit next to someone they don’t know in a hard chair with their back against the wall.
You’ll want to have spaces dedicated to the different demographics of your patient list.
Provide a range of sitting alternatives to let people feel more liberated. You want to create a space where people can freely move around. It would be best to have areas where people can be alone, others where families can stay together, and a kid-friendly section where they can play quietly.
The dental office may be a source of fear and frustration. Some people may be apprehensive about their treatment or hurrying to get an appointment during their lunch break. As a result, creating a relaxing, stress-free environment is critical to giving a positive patient experience. Patients are more likely to return to you in the future if they had a good experience.
You can use various entertainment to keep patients entertained and pass the time during their visit. Consider providing outlets or charging stations so that patients may charge their gadgets while they wait. Patients will also appreciate being able to connect to your Wi-Fi. Hang a sign with the password prominently displayed.
Have a choice of current periodicals available for those who wish to “unplug.” You might consider setting up a special children’s section with peaceful games and books if you have a lot of young patients or patients who bring their children.
At the doctor’s office, a little pampering may go a long way. For years, dentists have used the power of luxury to their advantage, including providing complimentary coffee bars and tiny refrigerators stocked with bottled water and other refreshments. Your patients will appreciate the extra effort.
Colors have a significant effect on people’s thoughts and behaviors. Yellow is frequently associated with “happiness,” whereas green is associated with “health,” and black with “sophistication.”
What type of feeling do you want to create with your waiting room decor? A waiting area that is all white might feel impersonal and frigid. Consider adding a touch of accent color to your front desk. You should use soft hues and neutral colors in your waiting room’s wall color, furniture, and artwork. This will help patients feel relaxed the moment they walk in. The American Dental Association recommends shades of blues and greens for people seeking a comfortable environment.
Make the most of your patient waiting room. This is an excellent location to raise awareness of your practice’s offerings, particularly elective procedures like teeth whitening, clear aligners, and sleep apnea devices.
Consider installing monitors in your waiting area to give your clinic a more high-tech atmosphere. Play brief commercials for the things you sell. You may receive digital movies or USB flash drives containing videos from dental manufacturers or distributors. Monitors can also be used to advertise deals or to show patient education films.
Your dental office waiting room should have a welcoming and expansive sense to it. If possible, avoid having your waiting room in a small place. Make sure that patients have a variety of sitting alternatives. Set up comfy sofas and chairs, as well as coffee tables and side tables, to create a welcoming atmosphere. Ensure there is no clutter – a clean, clear front office can also help patients relax throughout their visit.
Having a well-designed dental office waiting room is the first step toward building a lasting brand for your practice. However, if you want your patients to have a truly remarkable experience, you need to take measures for streamlining your operations, and Cloud 9 can help.
We offer a robust orthodontic practice management software that will have your clinic running like clockwork, so your patients spend less time in waiting room chairs and more in your dental chair.
Contact Cloud 9 today and schedule a free demo to see how you can take your operations to the next level.