When patients walk through your office door, they form an immediate impression about your practice. No matter how competent you are, and no matter how friendly your team is, your practice will be judged by what people see up front. Increasingly, they want more than just a clean office.
Make the Waiting Room Look Like a Living Room
Research, led by physician and author Esther Sternberg, shows that patients are putting a premium on healthcare design. They want practices that pay attention to aesthetics and sensory wellbeing. Baby Boomers respond to an upscale, hotel-like atmosphere, while Millennials and Generation Z value artwork and digital connectivity. All groups value a waiting area that feels more like a comfortable, but uncluttered living room than a sterile space.
How does your office stack up? Walk into your waiting room from the point of view of a new patient. How are the furnishings? Are the walls painted in a soothing color or a hue that is harmonious with your brand? Is the floor spotless? Does the waiting room smell clean and fresh?
If you and your staff just don’t have time to deep clean, consider a janitorial service. Your accountant can help you build this into your budget.
Focus on Decor
Place a premium on making patients feel comfortable with decor. It doesn’t need to be expensive. A rustic or oriental-style rug on a hardwood or laminate floor adds warmth. Lighting can add dimension and a modern touch.
As for the walls and furnishings, healthcare decorators favor a mix of warm and cool colors, perhaps with an aquarium or a Zen-like fountain.
Amenities count, too. Some dental offices are adding massage chairs, aromatherapy, paraffin hand-wax stations, and noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones. Check out Pinterest for ideas and ask your patients what would add to their experience. Be sure to showcase your decor in your social media marketing to attract new patients.
Look at Your Team
Ultimately, team interaction with patients is more important than decor. Make sure your office etiquette is up to par, that each team member greets visitors in a polite manner, and answers phone calls promptly and professionally.
Keeping your dental office clean and inviting is more important than you might think for attracting and retaining patients. To learn how you can afford upgrades to your office, call our dental accounting firm.