Dental Office Remodeling Best Practices
Dental office remodeling requires thought and consideration on both the clinical and administrative sides of your business. For every dental practice buildout, a designer must weight and assess your space to achieve the optimum balance between both functions. All build-outs begin with good design and forethought with the aim of maximizing benefit to patients and staff alike. Read on for some helpful dental office remodeling tips.
How to prepare for your dental office remodeling
Begin by assessing your practice’s wants and needs, this list will help guide you in determining your space’s features – it also sets realistic limits and expectations. Consider what your patients, staff and other dentists may want out of your space, then consider your practice’s goals. You may not want to move your office, but you may also want additional space. The challenge is to redesign your existing areas to achieve maximum space utilization. Although dental offices never seem to have enough storage space, solutions to address this can be quick, easy and inexpensive.
If you lease your office space, consider a conditional provision for tenant improvement (TI)
Before you begin an extensive dental office remodel, check your lease agreement. If the lease is due to expire within the year, it may be time to renegotiate terms with your landlord. This is also the time to consider adding in tenant improvement as a signing condition. Renegotiating with your landlord upfront can potentially save you dollars.
Dental office design
At Stryker Construction, we offer in-house design assistance. When it comes to dental office remodeling, you need specific interior design, and construction experts. When you hire a general contractor who specializes in dental construction and design, you save yourself money in the long run. We understand your practice’s needs, requirements and specifications. Our purpose is to help you find solutions to all of your design problems, while creating functional and beautiful spaces.
Configuring your reception area is critical. This is the space in which your patients make their first interaction with you and your staff. Consider calming, neutral colors to make patients feel comfortable. Other design considerations should be taken into account, for example: not facing the receptionist directly towards the waiting patients, separating the check-in and checkout areas of the office, and placing restroom door entires away from the seating areas are conscious design decisions that can result in positive changes.
At Stryker we maintain a “Client Submittal Packet” on our projects. Submittal Packets are longstanding records of each and every design and its associated materials. When it comes time for a repair or improvement, we have a full record of your dental office remodel or tenant improvement project. Keeping record of all your design elements including paint, upholstery, lighting, and all relevant choices is part of how we go the extra mile – it indicates our level of care and professionalism.
How to minimize practice disruption
Your practice represents your livelihood. We understand that you can’t afford to shut things down for renovation. Your designer and contractor will help you determine the best way to plan shutdowns and avoid costly and inconvenient disruptions. Typically, a good contractor will work in the the “off-hours” – or non-business hours during the day. This means that crews only work when your office is closed. Confining construction work to one or two rooms or areas at a time is yet another viable solution to minimizing disruption.
Take inventory of your existing equipment and determine what you can reuse
Reusing your existing equipment is the easiest way to save money on your renovation. You may also consider a partial upgrade of various components and features like chairs and cabinets. Budgetary restrictions are always a consideration with an office space buildout. Working within your limits should always be the goal.
Consider inexpensive, cosmetic office improvements
A fresh coat of paint often goes a long way. Refinishing walls and coverings is often a cost-effective practical way of remodeling your dental office. The next step might be flooring. Typically, this upgrade begins to add costs, but tactical decision making can keep this upgrade well within your budget. When selecting your flooring material consider longevity and practicality. New carpet or tile in high traffic areas like the seating areas and hallways alongside bright vinyl in the operating rooms, labs, and restrooms makes a notable difference in the look and feel of your space. Lighting is perhaps the most important consideration. Replacing old, dated fixtures with new, modern ones can reinvent your space. Designing your dental office with natural light in mind is also a cost-effective and practical solution to many lighting problems.
How to improve patient inflow, outflow and comfort
Moving patients and staff throughout your office can lead to increased productivity. Think critically about your office’s traffic patterns and your patients’ habits. A floor plan that allows for privacy is almost certainly a consideration and is one that is sure to improve your patient experience and overall comfort.
Patient comfort is a concern in both the seating and dental examination areas. Comfortable seating is very important, as well as an environment in the seating area that is aesthetically pleasing. In the dental examination areas, distracting the patient from the sounds and odors associated with your dental practice will contribute significantly to their level of comfort.
Offices that over-emphasis their patient experience and do not consider the staff’s working environment could lead to a decrease in staff morale, productivity and retention of said personnel. Your practice may function well, but a more efficient dental office design and updated, comfortable accommodations for your employees will result in long-term gains in productivity and workplace satisfaction as well as retention.
Connect with Stryker Construction for your dental office remodeling
Connect with us today. If you’re considering remodeling your dental office, let us know. At the very least we can lend you some extra information and educate you further regarding your options. We are proud Northern Nevada community partners and we’re here to help!