Tips For Decorating Your Waiting Area
Lets face it, few people love going to the dentist. They dislike waiting around even more.
Studies show that as many as 40 million Americans avoid going to the dentist because of fear and anxiety.
Ease the pain of impatient and anxious patients with these tips for making your waiting area a great place to be.
Great Dental Office Waiting Room Design Ideas
As the saying goes, you never have a second chance to make a first impression. And its true, especially in business.
The first thing your patients see when they walk into your office is your waiting room. If it looks dreary, has cobwebs, or the furniture has holes and tears, you shouldnt expect people to have much confidence in your abilities as a dentist.
But its not just about making your waiting room design look clean and tidy. There are a lot of little things you can do to make sure your patients feel welcome as soon as they walk through the door.
To help you get some ideas flowing, here are five great dental office waiting room ideas.
Remember That Its A Waiting Room
Traditionally, the operative word in waiting room has been waiting. As such, it was not uncommon to see an abundance of chairs, and very little else.
However, the most patient-friendly medical and dental office waiting room designs are those that remember that its a waiting ROOM, and as such it should be roomy. Patients should easily be able to get up and move around without bumping into other people, having to step over bags and purses, and so on.
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Dental Office Waiting Room Design History
You may not think that dental office waiting room design is crucial to creating the optimum experience. but guess again.
For the past 20 years, there has been a general formula to calculate how big your waiting room should be. This formula said that you should have 2-3 waiting chairs for each Operatory that you have.
Lets look at an example for a 2,500 sq. ft practice:
6 Operatories x 2 chairs = 12 waiting chairs
6 Operatories x 3 chairs = 18 waiting chairs
If we would only calculate that one chair needs 9sqft of space:
12 chairs x 9sqft = 108sqft
18 chairs x 9sqft = 162sqft
Here is why we think that this formula is outdated and why this particular dental waiting room design should not be used. .
No one likes to wait.
When we go to the dentist, we want to get our treatment and leave. No one likes to wait, especially not the newer generations Millennials and Generation Z. So why are we planning to have space for each single patient, and more, to wait for their treatment?
Better use of space.
Weve heard it many times: We dont make money in our waiting area. And this is absolutely correct. So why are we using space to make people wait to get their treatment instead of using it for a space where we actually see some ROI? There is certainly no ROI coming from waiting patients.
The first impression.
Invest in the right spaces.
Get A Fresh Coat Of Color
Color is the first thing that sets the mood. To make the office look warm and inviting, paint the walls with white, dove-gray, aqua blue or warm earth tones. Light colors make the office look bright and cheerful and set a relaxing mood. If your tables and wood cabinets are looking outdated, a fresh coat of paint can give them a new look, especially if you cant afford to replace them.
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The Right Dental Office Decorating Ideas Make It Worth The Wait
Let your patients know how much you care about their comfort. By using the right dental office decorating ideas for your waiting room, you can make their next trip to the dentist office a positive experience.
Looking for new ways to fill your waiting room? Check out these 5 creative dental promotional ideas to attract new patients and grow your practice.
Simple Tips For Inexpensive Dental Office Dcor
Your dental office decor can have a great impact on alleviating tension and anxiety from your patients. When a patient walks in the door, he is likely to have at least some level of anxiety about dental procedures. And so, if your dental office looks warm and inviting, it can really put the patient at ease.
Your dental office decor also speaks volumes about your practice. The waiting room, in particular, is the most impressionable space. So while your office may have a great layout that allows for ease of movement, easy storage, and lots of natural light, all of it may look unwelcoming and outdated. Here is how you can quickly and inexpensively revamp your dental office to create a more inviting and relaxing aura.
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Why Is The Reception Area So Powerful
Its the first thing your patients see when they walk in. The first impression is often the lasting impression. Although we like to call it the reception area, realistically its also the waiting area. Patients are more likely to pay attention to details like the paint, wood trim, and chairs while they are merely waiting for time to pass. Patients are likely to draw conclusions about the equipment and care of the facility based on their observations in the reception area. Are there spider webs in the corners of the ceiling? Patients are more likely to conclude that the medical equipment is not properly sterilized. Is the paint peeling and are the pictures dated? Patients might conclude that the providers are giving antiquated care. To help patients arrive at favorable conclusions, its vital that their first impression be a good one.
Revitalize Your Waiting Room
Below are a few simple and cost-effective ways of improving your waiting room and making your patients feel more at ease:
Its important to make sure to think of things from your patients point of view. For help making your dental office more inviting, or for other ways to successfully market your dental business, please dont hesitate to contact Pro Dental Designs today.
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Always Keep The Area Clear And Clutter
No matter how amazing it looks, if its not free from clutter, your dental waiting area isnt going to score points with your patients. In fact, seeing a cluttered room may end up causing them further anxiety.
Clutter is known to cause anxiety. You definitely dont want your patients feeling overwhelmed and distraught before you put them in your dental chair.
Every night, make sure you or one of your employees clears up the clutter in the waiting room. Magazines tend to end up strewn about.
Make sure there are a few wastebaskets so everyone can easily toss their own clutter away rather than leaving it for you to clean up.
Dont add too many decorations. You want peoples eyes to be able to see the artwork you choose. You dont want them to go cross-eyed because there is too much clutter on your walls.
Choose carefully what you place in your dental waiting room area. Every little thing in there can have an impact on the emotional or physical well-being of your patients.
Give Your Patients Something To Do
Idle hands give your patients nothing else to do than watch the clock. By giving them a choice of activities to keep them occupied, their time in the waiting room will seem to fly by.
Free WiFi access is important these days. The use of smartphones and tablets are so commonplace, your office technology needs to keep up with the times. That includes having outlets or charging stations to keep everyones devices topped off.
If space allows, install a couple workstations to let waiting professionals get some work done.
TVs are always a good idea. But instead of making everyone watch a boring news station or soap opera, why not display information about your dental practice?
And dont forget about the kids. Parents will appreciate having a play area with toys and books to keep the little ones busy.
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Offer Free Wifi And Work Space
After 20 minutes of waiting, patients generally begin to feel like theyre wasting time. Make your waiting room work-friendly by providing tables, charging stations and free WIFI, so patients can work on their laptops and feel productive. Think Starbucks.
The bottom line: no one likes to wait, and for many, the waiting is the most stressful part of a dentist appointment experience. What will you do this month to enhance your patients waiting room experience?
Take A Seat Have A Drink
Speaking of comfort, we believe the ubiquitous rows of institutional, straight-backed chairs have no place in a dental office waiting area. Rather, we model these spaces after well-appointed, contemporary living rooms, adorned with attractive furnishings and interesting artwork. Beverage stations offering coffee, espresso, or cucumber water introduce another level of hospitality, signaling to clients that, in your practice, they come first.
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Relax Your Patients With Decor And Lighting
You have to admit, going to the dentist can be a stressful event for many people. But your waiting room can take off that edge by incorporating elements that will help them relax.
Water features are great for calming frazzled nerves. Whether that be a babbling fountain or a bubbly aquarium. The sound of water acts as white noise, helping patients let go of their thoughts and become calmer.
Lighting can also have a huge effect on patients moods. Soft, bright light will help create a sense of calm. While low, warm light will give your waiting room a more homey quality.
Take Care Of Your Patients Needs
Finally, what really puts patients at ease and make them comfortable is the range of amenities you offer in the waiting room. Having a complimentary drink station, coat rack and a pile of current reading material really make a difference. If you frequently expect kids, you may consider dedicating an area for them to make your practice more kid friendly. And when considering patient amenities, dont forget to de-clutter and get rid of the old stuff from time to time.
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Set The Mood With Color
As with the furniture, the colors of your dentist waiting room should reflect the style of your brand and the image you want your office to portray. But you also want to balance that with calming colors that will keep your patients relaxed.
Neutral, serene colors are best in creating a calming atmosphere. Hues of grays, tans, creams, and blues are a soothing and natural backdrop.
If your branding colors already fall into that category, incorporating them into your color scheme will be a piece of cake. But if you have some bold tones in your brand, its best to use those as pops of color throughout your decor and not make them a focal point.
Balance Technology And The Human Touch
As technology evolves, it may be possible to remove the receptionist altogether. Yet, we dont necessarily recommend this. While check-in functions can be automated with tablet computers , there is no substitute for a welcoming human presence. A great receptionist or concierge to greet clients, answer questions, and calm nerves will help people feel comfortable in your space and, consequently, in your care.
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How To Design A Waiting Room
Learning how to design a waiting room for a medical or dental office starts with natural and intuitive decisions that improve your clients overall experience. Waiting rooms are integral to managing client inflow and outflow. Your goal is to consider your clients needs.
Plan Client Traffic Flow
Have a clear idea of traffic flow when designing your office build out.
This is a key component of learning how to design a waiting room. Know how your guests will enter and exit your space and make sure these areas are clearly marked and easily navigable. In terms of client experience, theres nothing worse than showing up for an appointment and having no idea where to sign in, register, or begin the appointment. These measures can also help cut down on client wait time.
Signage that points people toward restrooms or other critical areas are important too.
You want to make sure the foot traffic can flow freely around the waiting area. The last thing you need is a traffic bottleneck. If you have a practice that requires patient anonymity and privacy, youll also need to create one-way pathways to keep clients from crossing paths.
Learn From Premier Waiting Room Designers
Waiting Room Updates Proven To Impress Your Patients
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New Furniture And A Better Layout
Most waiting rooms look pretty much the same uncomfortable chairs, old magazines, a television on mute, and not enough personal space. Your patients will spend around 20 minutes in this space. As a result, they will feel tense, and the only thing they will think about is when they’ll be allowed to leave.
To avoid this effect, spend some time working on your dental office design ideas. Reorganize the layout to offer a variety of seating options. A couch and a coffee table for families, a kid-friendly corner, a quiet area, and movable chairs are just a couple of examples.
The color, material, and style of the furniture should reflect your brand. Does modern style with clean lines align with your message? Or are natural materials and neutral colors a better fit?
Instead of opting for a sterile, cold look most dental offices have, use the influence colors have on people’s moods to your advantage. Choose a suitable color scheme and strive to avoid colors that excite for instance, soothing tones with a splash of vibrant color or pattern will make the reception area look amazing.
Waiting Room In A Dental Clinic
If you are thinking about opening your own dental clinic, one of the topics you will have to think about is the decoration and furniture you will need for the waiting room and reception. Both the colors, the design, and the furniture is essential to make a pacient feel at ease. Next, we give you 8 tips to you certainly must take into account:
IdentityThe interior of a waiting room and reception room is very important because it gives the patient a first impression. It must convey the values of the clinic. If the waiting room is neglected or outdated, the patient will associate it with obsolete practices and techniques and a careless approach. A well-kept waiting room, modern but welcoming, has a good influence on the mood of the patient. Patients with fear of the dentist will feel more at ease.
Investigate what makes your clinic exceptional. Why do patients return? Maybe its the personal treatment? We have to see the interior and decoration as an extension of corporate identity and website. Hire a photographer to take fun photos of the team and give them a prominent place on the wall. Does the area where your clinic is located have a beautiful history? Refer to the past with an artistic wall.
Day lightDaylight reduces stress. Therefore, providing a waiting room with natural light is essential. The windows are always nice, but you can cover a part for more privacy.
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Educate And Entertain With Ada Tv
Research suggests that patients spend an average of 14 minutes in a waiting room. Educate, entertain, and engage your patients during that time with ADA TV. The simple plug and play system essentially loads and runs itself. It streams ADA Toothflix educational videos and 3D animations, digital signage promoting services, news, sports, finance, entertainment, and you can even customize with your own practice videos or images. All you do is insert the ADA TV stick in to your HDTV and turn it on. Its really that easy.
Questions To Answer In Your Dental Office Designs
When it comes to starting the journey with a new dentist, it is all about listening and learning your needs. Here are just a few of the concepts we are focusing on when tailoring a new office plan to your needs:
- How many Operatories or treatment rooms are you planning?
- Will you have an onsite Lab?
- Centralize Steri and Storage to minimize delays in going back and forth.
- Where will we locate your X-ray and other Imaging so that they can be near patients consults for easy interaction?
- Wheres the best place for material and equipment that allows staff access but not patient intrusion?
- How do staff and supplies move from Storage to Operatories, Operatories to Steri, and Ops to the Lab?
- What kind of facilities will you need for your staff and internal meetings?
- Staff lounges and labs do not need to be close to patient areas where can we most efficiently locate them?
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