The most successful dental practices continuously develop their clinical skills, as well as their practice management resources. One of a dental practice’s most important assets, the office space has a direct impact on both the clinical and business side of the practice. That said, there is no one size or floor plan that fits every dental practice. In fact, many practices get their beginning in more modest office settings with plans to expand as their practice gains success. Yet, for a range of different office setups, there are strategies that can help dental practices get more out of their space.
1. Inventory Management and Storage: One of the ways to set your practice apart is to make sure the latest technologies and best services are available to your patients. This involves continually investing in new dental equipment, even when the current equipment is still valuable and generally effective.
There are companies out there that offer to help sell your used dental equipment, but even these services hardly work overnight. Rather than let your office space become overrun, rather than not get anything at all out of the old equipment, a better option is often to maintain an offsite storage space.
2. Concierge Delivery: Many dental practices put a premium on the best supplies at the best prices, even if it means waiting a few extra days for delivery. Even for those practices that have the capital resources to keep their inventory well-stocked, it’s often not the best use of space to have an office bursting at the seams with A3 composite. Even basic inventory management frequently causes dental practices headaches.
With concierge storage delivery, you can keep a good portion of these supplies offsite, while still having them at your disposal when you need them. Rather than having a staff member fetch the supplies, you can use an online dashboard to request return delivery. With the push of a button, your practice will have your supplies returned within 24 hours.
3. Meeting Space: Don’t underestimate the value of reclaiming an entire room in your dental office. A conference room or meeting space may serve several different purposes. For dental practices that offer specialized services, this space can help you present to patients a much better introduction to the procedures you perform.
The space can also enable the office to start holding regular office meetings. Like other small businesses, it’s all but impossible for dental practices to underestimate the benefits of improving the office culture. In fact, the single most important change that many dental practices can make is to overhaul and standardize the protocols for answering the phone and responding to new patients.
4. Chairside Manner and the Clinical Space: Creating a little extra space in the office has the potential for all kinds of indirect benefits. This article from Dental Economics points out five essential qualities for excellent chairside manner—eye contact, listening, lingering, touch, and identifying. If you don’t have enough space to easily move around the chair, it’s going to be tempting to occasionally talk to your patients while standing behind them. The ability to comfort with a delicate touch is much easier if the patient isn’t feeling cramped by their surroundings.
5. Informational and Marketing Displays: Among the most ubiquitous elements of a dental office space are the wall displays that help educate patients on any number of topics involving oral care and dentistry services. This, too, speaks to the indirect benefits that come with extra space. Less cluttered office spaces can make these wall displays pop more. It can also provide extra space for specialized marketing materials. You may already be doing this in the form of brochures, postcards, and social media content, but there is tremendous value in continuing to reinforce what makes your practice unique.