How to Create a Dental Design Strategy That Enhances Patient Experience

A warm fireplace, natural lighting, and cozy amenities might not be the first thing you think of when you imagine a dental practice layout but maybe they should be. Those are only a small sampling of stand-out dental design that can re-define your practice atmosphere.

The innovative design features should stop at the front door either. In fact, the overall patient experience relies on an intentional design strategy throughout your entire dental facility.

What Does Patient Experience Mean?

Colin Shaw, founder of Beyond Philosophy, a global customer experience consulting company, defines patient experience.

”A patient experience is an interaction between an organization and a patient as perceived through a patient’s conscious and subconscious mind. It is a blend of an organization’s rational performance, the senses stimulated, and emotions evoked and intuitively measured against the patient’s expectations across all moments of contact.” [1]

That definition might feel like a heavy burden to place on your dental practice design strategy. Even so, outstanding design must (as Shaw states):

  • Stimulate
  • Evoke emotion
  • Align with a patient’s entire experience

Think of dental design as appealing to your patient’s eyes and their mind. The following design-think encourages you to strategize fresh ideas around a balance of aesthetics (eye-appeal) and feel (emotional-appeal).


Functionality in Balance

Dental design that has visual and emotional appeal serves your patients and your team. The better your team is able to navigate your layout the more efficient and engaging they will be.

Patients might not recognize this particular type of functionality as much as your staff will. But your patient’s journey from curb to treatment and back requires an equal amount of balanced functionality and efficiency.

  • Give attention to architectural layout. Space management that plans walking distance from parking lot to front door, from reception area to treatment area, etc. will impact patient experience.
  • Be ergonomically minded. Style is important as long as it allows for comfort (and reducing patient anxiety).
  • Maximize floor space with minimalist appeal. Whatever occupies your space(s) make sure it’s useful and doesn’t impede traffic flow or staff efficiency.

Comfortable Atmosphere with Attention to Ergonomic Details

Again, ergonomics are a major dental design detail – especially as they relate to your team(s). They will be able to deliver an even stronger patient experience if they’re ergonomically equipped.

Design plays a major role in creating a comfortable patient experience that’s supported by your team’s health and comfort. As you know, the daily workflows throughout your practice can take a toll on your body and your team member’s too.

  • Stage your clinical areas with efficiency and ergonomics in mind. Design equipment and instrument access points to promote healthy movement and reach.
  • Provide design features that enhance your front-desk team’s patient contact points and routine task performance.
  • Utilize design amenities that enhance patient comfort, convenience, and treatment ease.

Diminish DIY and Rely on Design Expertise

Dental design strategy has two facets: clinical expertise and aesthetic expertise. The clinical aspect is your territory while design belongs to aesthetic knowledge.

It’s essential to blend both without relying too heavily on a boot-strapped, DIY approach. The cost savings of keeping design planning in-house isn’t worth the loss of expert perspective.

  • Expert designers are skilled at maximizing your unique design thumbprint. They can see past the familiar surroundings and capture the vibe you envision for your patient experience.
  • Expert designers have the tools and technology to align effective design features with your clinical protocols.
  • Expert designers have cost-saving access to vendors. Their savings will often surpass your ability to save on a DIY strategy.
  • Expert designers do the “heavy-lifting” while you and your team stay focused on your “lane” of patient care.

Dental design requires intentional effort. Your desired patient experience deserves a fresh set of eyes as much or more than a fresh-coat-of-paint.

Check out these design-themed resources to upgrade or renew your patient experience…and your office environment:

6 Dental Office Images That Show How Intentional Design Impacts Patient Experience

3 Steps to Transform Your Office Decor from Mundane to Magical

A Practical Guide to Creating an Exceptional Patient Experience

Create a Memorable Patient Experience Through Dental Office Interior Design and Decor

Utilize Dental Design Expertise for Outstanding Patient Experience

You’ll stand out from other service providers when you provide a unique dental experience that’s influenced by fresh dental design.

  • Reduce patient anxiety and enhance their relaxation
  • Prime patients and families for their appointments
  • Create positive dental care experiences

Maintain your edge in the crowded dental service space. Attention to design details can transform your environment and the overall patient experience.

  • Create “buzz” in the community you serve
  • Accelerate patient referrals
  • Generate positive online reviews

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

[1]  7 Tips Designing Your Dental Practice




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