By Toothbrush History
When you opened your dental clinic, you focused on interior additions that would attract new patients to the office. Modern dentist offices offer a wide range of restorative and preventative dental services aimed at promoting improved dental care. But the benefit for the patient begins in the waiting room. If you’re thinking that you can settle for great customer service, think again. Here are how the details you include in an office environment can promote more patient visits.
Dental anxiety is one of the main reasons patients don’t want to visit the dentist. Having someone pry around in your mouth and apply pressure with medical instruments can take a toll on patients. Research from Statistic Stats reveals that over 75% of adults experience dental anxiety, a condition that has its own field of psychology. Prior uncomfortable visits and reviews of horror stories can make patients feel even less motivated to request dental care.
Other issues placing a barrier in front of your patients include your clinic’s appearance, the selection of décor, the color scheme, overall temperature, and air quality. To eliminate these barriers, your dental clinic must appeal to your patients by invoking feelings of comfort and ease the moment they enter the parking lot. Incorporate research from what patients had to say about prior experiences into how you present your dental clinic. The more welcoming the office, the less hesitant patients will feel about scheduling an appointment.
Medical clinics should adhere to standards concerning hygiene, appearance, and customer service. The environment must reflect the values held by the medical community. When patients enter, the atmosphere should help them believe that getting quality dental care will have a long-lasting positive impact on their lives. Part of bridging the gap between dentists and patients is understanding everything from the ceiling lighting, to the curtain selections, and even how fast your staff speaks to the patients. All of these factors can influence their perception of a visit to the dentist. Therefore, building a relaxed dental atmosphere requires a planned, methodical approach.
From the color of your curtains to how often you water your plants, the feeling that visitors get when coming to your clinic will determine whether they come back. Research shows that sometimes certain sounds and smells can increase fear and anxiety. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to reduce some of the tension by creating an environment that soothes and welcomes without appearing unprofessional.
Housekeepers will decontaminate and wash all surfaces, vacuum rugs, carpets, and curtains, collect trash and take it to the dumpster, and sanitize bathrooms, telephones, computer screens, and appliances. Problems like dust can irritate patients who have lung problems or allergies. Therefore, dusting is a task that must be performed by professional housekeepers. Because bacteria and dirt will accumulate in hard-to-reach places, housekeepers may also need to do deep cleaning from time to time. Deep cleaning services may address hard-to-notice areas that even employees who have worked on-site for years might not notice. The goal for a dental clinic is to make patients feel like they can relax and a clean environment is a pleasure they will come to expect.
Picture audiovisual equipment as the televisions that depict important information but don’t show your traditional TV shows. Audiovisual equipment represents the hardware used to share information visually. This can mean devices like cameras and speakers, or even audio equipment. The technology might be used to identify a patient by their phone number and tell them when their spot in line has arrived. Should there be slides of information, graphics, or even audio needed to convey messages to patients, a dental clinic can take advantage of them as long as the technology doesn’t interrupt the atmosphere. Generally, this kind of technology is best used only when the benefits of the technology justify the cost and size.
Plants are a great way to relax patients as long as you water them regularly, avoid flies, and make sure they have adequate sunshine. Studies show having living plants in the workforce can improve positive mood while reducing a negative mood, resulting in overall reduced stress and an atmosphere promoting progress and movement. For city environments, dental clinics can alleviate the sadness patients feel from living with noise pollution, traffic, and skyrocketing populations. Patients become part of the environment once they enter the clinic, and they’ll be much more willing to visit when they’re met with an environment reminding them of nature.
Improve your dental atmosphere by hiring a marketing agency to work on your social media platforms. While website development is connected to social media, there is a lot more to social media marketing than posting content and throwing up a site on WordPress or Wix. Experts will use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and brand your website so that it connects with more people interested in your dental services. Customers who see that a dental clinic has a beautiful, well-designed website will entrust the dentists and the staff and return for future visits.
Marketing agencies can also help you understand why your visitors engage with you. By analyzing various data, marketing experts can identify trends in what customers are most interested in so you can make the necessary adjustments. Sometimes, you may be compelled to change the interior of your clinic itself based on the feedback you got from social media reviews. Other times, tools like Facebook Insights or Google Analytics can help you learn where your visitors are coming from while also understanding patient demographics.
Sunlight has Vitamin D in it so it’s not a bad idea to let some light fill your dental clinic. Patients wouldn’t feel depressed and, overall, the mood would be livelier and more energetic than it would be if the clinic was in a dark room. Understand that having too much sunshine in the office would create a blinding glare that would have patients circulating chairs. Choosing blackout curtains when you could have gone with aluminum blinds might mean the atmosphere is a little too dark and dim for a typical medical office. On the other hand, letting in too much light can make it hard for interactions to take place between staff and patients in the waiting room. Since light can interfere with your ability to run the clinic, you’re better off taking time to measure how light factors into how your patients feel and communicate.
In the summer, shades designed to stop the buildup of heat also block UV rays and are a good option if you want to reduce air conditioning costs. The equipment and appearance may remind you of what you see when looking through sunglasses. If the hot afternoon sunshine has a full path into your waiting room, you might think of the risks of letting your guests wait in a hot atmosphere. Likewise, sustaining warm temperatures would be a clinic’s goal in the winter, so window coverings that keep the heat in will help patients feel okay to get out of the cold. Overall, your dental clinic’s preference in temperature must align with what’s reasonable and safe, all without sacrificing the opportunity to create an elegant or luxurious view.
An office water filtration system will serve purified, clean water without the bacteria, acidity, or unnatural taste that comes with tap water. Keeping patients hydrated will prevent them from having to carry water bottles. Employees shouldn’t have to venture off-site but should be able to get refills or water in the clinic. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, federal office buildings consisting of 200 employees use about 3,000 gallons of water every day. That’s proof that any size office building needs a large water supply to avoid issues.
That said, some clinics might not want to consider the expense. They may instead think it’s a good idea to contribute water to the clinic out-of-pocket. For starters, doing so would take away from a relaxed dental atmosphere. The Occupational Safety and Health Act established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says water must be dispensable and you can’t legally ask employees to pay for it. The water must also be potable according to the U.S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards.
The anxiety patients feel in the waiting room can also contribute to thirst, dry mouth, and sweating. Therefore, the water they drink must meet certain standards. Even uncontaminated tap water can still taste bad simply because it’s unfiltered. An office water filtration system will serve purified, clean water without the bacteria, acidity, or unnatural taste that comes with tap water. These devices should be visible in your clinic so that everyone knows the water they’re drinking is clean and pure.
Reverse osmosis systems work the best because they remove most of the contaminants and are located under the sink. For a dentist’s clinic, there isn’t any excuse for foul-tasting water. Many products also have warranties and other helpful information for offices that require repairs or replacement devices. Ideally, you don’t invest a lot of time switching between products but instead, find what works right away.
Granite and quartz countertops are popular because they appear inviting and resemble a kitchen you’d see at a home. Quartz may have more of a shine and be a great option for well-lit rooms. While granite may withstand damage from cooking utensils and other sharp objects. Nowadays, a functioning dental atmosphere can benefit from countertops at the receptionist’s desk so that patients can quickly see forms that need filling out.
You can also make use of countertops throughout the waiting room. Rest promotions, discounts, brochures, invites, and special messages to your patients on top of these countertops and add a nearby wall painting and office plant to bring life into your clinic. When you add your dental clinic’s personality near your countertops, you can expect to embellish a boring or stale office setting that would be an eyesore for visitors. Countertops provide a crisp edge and an option that stands out from traditional office furniture.
You can do dozens of renovations and make zero progress if your patients are surrounded by trash. Leaving out trash from poor housekeeping and trash collection methods is a sure way to fail. But you also need to remove garbage from your property to avoid blocking dumpsters, alleyways, traffic, and visitors looking to park. Trash floating in the wind or obstructing parking spaces causes mounting frustration for patients while earning you resentment from citizens not connected to your clinic. Remember, that for many, the sight of a disorganized garbage collection operation is a sign that the business and its employees don’t care about the impression new patients get.
A bare room feels institutionalized and unwelcoming to patients who are already feeling anxiety and stress. The environment plays a role in determining how patients feel, just like the way you interact with them does. White walls and a lone dental chair can make any patient feel bitter, especially when the sight is combined with the smell of cleaning agents and chemicals. In the end, keeping patients and finding new ones means working together as a team to build a relaxed and welcoming environment.
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