Whether you’re refitting an existing office or preparing to hang out your shingle as the new paediatric dentist in town, having the right office atmosphere for your young patients will be a huge part of your success. There are plenty of big decisions involved in kitting out any dental practice, but for a children’s office there are two sets of answers to every question: what will the kids like, and of course, what do their parents expect. Today our team has cobbled together this quick hit list of tips and strategies you can deploy to create a great in-office experience for patients of all ages.
Cover All the Bases
First things first, you have to cater to the needs and expectations of the parents – after all, a parent who isn’t impressed with your office atmosphere and facilities is unlikely to return to your practice to have their child treated more than once. With this in mind, create spaces that are light and easy to keep clean. You’ll earn bonus points for adding complimentary drinks, unique books the parents haven’t already had to read 5,400 times, and that all-important Wi-Fi password.
More than this, your practice needs to show substance over style. So make it easy for your patients’ parents to book appointments, check account balances, and receive email reminders by having leading-edge practice management software such as Solutionreach software for dentists. Investigate the offerings available and consider how the end user will see your practice in the digital world based on the “face” such software provides. Parents love convenience – and if investing in a practice management suite on your end can alleviate some of the hassle they feel, they’ll love you forever.
Cater To the Kids
With all that silly grown up nonsense out of the way, we urge you to literally get down to the level of the kiddos you’re going to be treating. Sit on the floor of the waiting room and look around – what do you see? Grey carpet and dull walls, maybe some beige wipe-clean furniture? Children are readily engaged by colorful imagery – so start at the floor and work your way to the light fixtures adding a breath of fun and fresh air wherever you can.
Some of the best inspiration for paediatric waiting area design is found by doing a quick cruise through Pinterest. What you’ll see again and again is that for those with limitless coffers, some amazing, vibrant construction projects can yield exceptionally child-friendly environments. However, armed with a solid color palette and some vinyl decals, you can create a welcoming space for kids in your practice without breaking the bank.
Playful Procedure Spaces
Don’t think that you have to keep the exam and procedure rooms dry, white, or clinical. Serious oral health matters can be readily discussed and treated in a space with pops of color. It’s up to you and your budget whether that means you choose amazing accent walls, clever ceiling lights and detailing, or hang art for kids from a local gallery on a rolling basis.
Parents are divided on whether they approve of their kids getting to watch movies during medical visits, but it’s worth having the option available for those who agree. Similarly, providing headphones an access to music can be an excellent option for children who are anxious about the dental environment.
Keeping It Fresh
Whatever decorating options you decide on, our greatest piece of advice is that you keep an eye on trends. This is exceptionally important where doing themes related to movie or cartoon franchises. Though it’s fair to say that the classics are always in style, most kids these days couldn’t name Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd. Having said that, local artisans are likely to be your greatest resource in terms of coming up with iconic images that suit both your locale and kids likely to frequent your practice.
Whether you opt to work with an interior designer or simply get your own ideas together and have local artists produce a few pieces to compliment your vision, keeping things light, colorful, and full of floor-to-ceiling-fun should yield great results.