Planning on opening a clinic? Here are some valuable tips to pick the ideal location!

Picking the location for your new medical space might be one of the most important business decisions you will make. After all, the real estate adage “Location, location, location” is vital to the overall success of your new practice.

Here is what to keep in mind when looking for the perfect practice location:

Demographic

Population size is one of the most important aspects when considering the location of your practice. The denser in population in a particular region, the higher the chance your practice will succeed, as there are more potential patients in that area. If you work in a specified medical field, for example pediatric, consider opening your practice in a family-friendly and child-rich area.

Competition

Look around the area you are considering as your new practice location and ask yourself the following questions:

    • How many medical practices are in the immediate area?
    • How do they position themselves?
    • Do you have any advantage, for example additional certifications, over your competitors?
    • What are their reviews, and are patients looking for a change?

Accessibility

When choosing your clinic location, consider parking, traffic patterns, and the accessibility of your office. The more convenient it is for patients to get to your office, the more likely it is for your patients to choose your practice over the practice of your competitor. Ask  yourself the following:

    • Is there a private lot, or easy street parking available?
    • Are patients able to use public transport to visit your practice?
    • Is your practice easy to find and visible from the streets outside?
    • Are you able to mount signage to make it more clear where your office is located?

There are an indefinite amount of factors involved when it comes to finding the ideal business location and therefore it is recommended you work with an experienced real estate agent or business consultant to help you get your business started on the right track. Please contact Liberty Group Construction if interested in our business consultation services.

Design changes in your office that can significantly improve a patient’s experience

First impressions always count. When your patient steps into your waiting room, there are many subtle yet significant interactions that can define that experience. Patients take in everything from the friendliness of your front desk staff and the cleanliness of your waiting room, to the accessibility of your practice. But, most importantly, and often overlooked, the patient will notice the layout of the space itself.

The first area your patient will see and spend time in will always be your waiting room.

 

Ask yourself the following questions when considering the design of the waiting room:

  • Layout: Is it easy and accessible for patients to walk to the treatment room? Is there a clearly designated, comfortable area to fill out paperwork?

Key Note: First and foremost, think of the traffic flow of the office as the most important element to consider, as this will be the most challenging design to change later.

  • Seating: Are the seats comfortable for clients, keeping in mind longer waiting periods? Is there enough seating for families, and can seats be easily moved so parents can sit with their children?

Key Note: To maintain flexibility and comfort, opt for separate chairs with soft fabric covers instead of connected hard-shell seating..

  • Artwork and lighting: Is there something relaxing for patients to look at to ease the waiting time? Is the lighting bright enough for clients to read available literature, but soft enough to make the waiting room not feel too clinical or add glare to TVs?

Key Note: Use soft lighting, and natural, neutral paint colors with pops of artwork to make your practice as relaxing and inviting as possible for patients, while still maintaining a unique interior design.

All of these elements shape your patient’s experience in the waiting room. The way visitors experience your space can easily shape the patient’s experience in a positive or negative way. Take advantage of this and take the time needed with your designer and contractor to create a relaxing and well-functioning space for all occupants.

Is your practice up to date? – Current trends in dental practice design

Interior design trends change every year, and medical practice design is no exception. With social media advertising and online business reviews increasing in popularity, it is more important than ever for practices to stay up-to-date with the latest design trends and leave a lasting impression. The modern design and functionality of medical spaces are just as important for patients as the cleanliness, and healthcare professionals in all sectors are taking advantage of this.

Here is what to consider when wanting to stay up to date with current trends:

Color

  • Color themes are not only important in your branding materials and website. More and more practitioners apply the colors used in their branding to their physical practice space. If your branding features include bright tones, choose a bright accent or that specific shade as a “pop of color” in minor design elements throughout your space. Muted and neutral colors are still key here to maintain a calming practice environment.

Advertising Features

  • If you own a dental clinic, then your patients strive for the perfect smile. Attractive artwork, images, and advertisements of bright white smiles and successful treatments have become a trend. The same applies with compelling images of facial features if you are a dermatologist. Conveying the desirable results of your trade is a great way for your practice to advertise its services, while easing the patient’s waiting time with positive images.

Infection Control

  • As healthcare sanitary codes become more stringent, requiring practices to enforce high hygiene control, an increase in the use of ceramic materials for flooring has been trending. Ceramic floors and quartz countertops not only ease cleaning efforts, but also allow for larger sterilized spaces.

If you want to take advantage of current design trends too, contact Liberty Group Construction for a consultation at (888) 308-6869.

Healthcare Flooring

Flooring for Healthcare Environments.

An increasing volume of research shows that the physical environment in which patients are cared for and in which caregivers work has a measurable impact on them. It is estimated that more than 1,000 research studies illustrate how healthcare design can improve patient care, enhance medical outcomes, and reduce medical errors and waste. As a result, the use of this research in the design of healthcare environments is sweeping the field. The process, referred to as evidence-based design (EBD), calls for design decisions about the built environment to be based on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes, according to the Center for Health Design.

Today’s hospital executives are embracing EBD principles as a guide to help them do more with less. They have a financial responsibility to ensure that the decisions being made about their capital investments achieve a number of important objectives:

  • Improve patient and staff safety

  • Reduce medical errors

  • Reduce patient and staff stress

  • Speed patient healing and improve patient outcomes

  • Improve the patient and family experience

  • Improve staff effectiveness and satisfaction

  • Positively impact the bottom line

Flooring is an especially important design element within the healthcare environment. Not only is it necessarily found in all spaces, but the type of flooring specified greatly influences the outcome of each space. We advice our clients to evaluate this decision very carefully when designing their new office space. The investment on properly designed flooring materials can save the business much more in the long run.  

For even more information visit:

Source: interiors+sources

Are you EPA Compliant?

EPA has promulgated pretreatment standards to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in fish and shellfish. Mercury pollution is widespread and a global concern that originates from many diverse sources such as air deposition from municipal and industrial incinerators and combustion of fossil fuels.

Key facts about dental clinics and mercury:

  • Dental clinics are the main source of mercury discharges to POTWs.

  • EPA estimates about 103,000 dental offices use or remove amalgam in the United States; almost all of these send their wastewater to POTWs.

  • Dentists discharge approximately 5.1 tons of mercury each year to POTWs; most of this mercury is subsequently released to the environment.

Every time an amalgam filling is placed or removed, tiny particles can bypass chair side traps and make their way into the waterways. Dentists can virtually eliminate this problem by installing an amalgam separator, which captures 99% of mercury waste before it enters our wastewaters.

Compliance

The effective date of the rule is July 14, 2017.

Dental offices that place or remove amalgam must operate and maintain an amalgam separator and must not discharge scrap amalgam or use certain kinds of line cleaners.

 Existing Dental Offices

Existing dental offices must comply by July 14, 2020. Existing amalgam separators may be operated for their lifetime or ten years, whichever comes first.When a separator needs replacement, or the ten-year period has ended and the separator does not meet the standard of the final rule, a dental office must replace it with one that meets the requirements of the final rule.

New Dental Offices

The compliance date for new dental offices (“new sources”) is the effective date of the rule.

Reporting Requirements

Existing and new sources must submit a one-time compliance report. See the Federal Register notice for details. EPA has not prepared an example compliance report at this time.

For even more information visit:

Source: EPA.gov   

Hiring and Retaining Employees

Most dental practices must understand that the single most important task that contributes to their success is employing successful employment processes.

The development of accurate job titles and descriptions is essential to properly communicate the needs of the practice. Candidates must be clear of the expectations, job responsibilities and the knowledge skill set and abilities required to fulfill the work for which they are applying. Most practices use job descriptions as a prequel to hiring. But developing a job description is where most practices stop. To hire and retain emotionally intelligent employees who expect more from their employers, another step is necessary. Job enrichment motivates employees by giving them a career track that includes higher pay, increased responsibility, and variety.

Jobs are meant to evolve overtime, specially within the dental industry. For this reason it is important to strive for positive impact on attitude and productivity by allowing employees to have more control over the planning of their daily tasks. Start by allowing them to decide how to accomplish their tasks as you evaluate their efforts and provide feedback.

Points to Consider

Appropriate items for a job application include a work history, salary history, reason for leaving previous employment, and at least four professional references. A more personal interview approach could be implemented for those candidates who move on to the next round of the hiring process. It is always a good idea to have your candidates interviewed by several people, allowing them to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses you may have missed. Preselect questions for the interview and ask the same questions of all applicants to avoid bias.

Here are some samples of questions you could include: Why are you applying for this position? What made you choose this field of employment? How might you calm a nervous or angry patient? Why are you leaving your current position? Why do you feel you are the best candidate for this position?

How To Hire Good Employees

  • Take an inventory of your current team members.
  • Develop accurate job descriptions.
  • Develop a job application form.
  • Employ effective advertising techniques.
  • Conduct personal interviews using preselected questions.
  • Conduct second interviews with the finalists.
  • Check references and perform criminal record checks and substance abuse screening.
  • Use a well-designed orientation program.
  • Establish a system to measure performance periodically.
  • Deal with poor performance issues immediately and follow up on areas that need improvement.

For even more information visit:
Source: DENTAL ECONOMICS

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Location for Your Business

 

Be Systematic and Realistic
Before you start shopping for business space, you need to have a clear picture of what you must have, what you’d like to have, what you absolutely won’t tolerate and how much you’re able to pay. Developing that picture can be a time-consuming process that’s both exciting and tedious, but it’s essential you give it the attention it deserves. While many startup mistakes can be corrected later on, a poor choice of location is sometimes impossible to repair.

Points to Consider

1. Style of operation.
Your location should be consistent with your particular style and image. Do you want a traditional store/office, or would you like to try operating from a mobile location? Is your operation going to be formal and elegant? Or kicked-back and casual?

2. Demographics.
There are two important angles to the issue of demographics. First, consider who your customers are and how important their proximity to your location is. For a retailer and some service providers, this is critical; for other types of businesses, it might not be as important. The demographic profile you have of your target market will help you make this decision.

Then take a look at the community. If your customer base is local, does a sufficient percentage of that population match your customer profile to support your business? Does the community have a stable economic base that will provide a healthy environment for your business? Be cautious when considering communities that are largely dependent on a particular industry for their economy; a downturn could be bad for business.

Now think about your work force. What skills do you need, and are people with those talents available? Does the community have the resources to serve their needs? Is there sufficient housing in the appropriate price range? Will your employees find the schools, recreational opportunities, culture, and other aspects of the community satisfactory?

3. Foot traffic.
For most retail businesses, foot traffic is extremely important. You don’t want to be tucked away in a corner where shoppers are likely to bypass you, and even the best retail areas have dead spots. By contrast, if your business requires confidentiality, you may not want to be located in a high-traffic area. Monitor the traffic outside a potential location at different times of the day and on different days of the week to make sure the volume of pedestrian traffic meets your needs.

4. Accessibility and parking.
Consider how accessible the facility will be for everyone who’ll be using it—customers, employees, and suppliers. If you’re on a busy street, how easy is it for cars to get in and out of your parking lot? Is the facility accessible to people with disabilities? What sort of deliveries are you likely to receive, and will your suppliers be able to easily and efficiently get materials to your business? Small-package couriers need to get in and out quickly; trucking companies need adequate roads and loading docks if you’re going to be receiving freight on pallets.

Find out about the days and hours of service and access to locations you’re considering. Are the heating and cooling systems left on or turned off at night and on weekends? If you’re inside an office building, are there periods when exterior doors are locked and, if so, can you have keys? A beautiful office building at a great price is a lousy deal if you plan to work weekends but the building is closed on weekends—or they allow you access, but the air conditioning and heat are turned off so you roast in the summer and freeze in the winter.

Be sure there’s ample convenient parking for both customers and employees. As with foot traffic, take the time to monitor the facility at various times and days to see how the demand for parking fluctuates. Also make sure the parking lot is well-maintained and adequately lighted.

5. Competition.
Are competing companies located nearby? Sometimes that’s good, such as in industries where comparison shopping is popular. You may also catch the overflow from existing businesses, particularly if you’re located in a restaurant and entertainment area. But if a nearby competitor is only going to make your marketing job tougher, look elsewhere.

For even more information visit:

Source: ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE Copyright © 2017 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Top 3 Dental Practice RELOCATION TIPS

You’re exploring a dental practice relocation.
Are you crazy?
No.
Dental practice relocations can be the BEST thing you do in the next stage of your career.

Lower rent.
More new patients.
Better facility.
Modern equipment.
They can all be had in a dental practice relocation when its done right.

But if you get it wrong, you’ll spend the next decade working your way out of a dark hole.

3 Precise Dental Practice Relocation Tips

In this article, you’ll learn 3 precise tips (of more than a dozen) that you can use today.​

This information applies to ANY dental practice relocation, in any demographic area.

With these tips, you may end up like one of our clients in Arizona who recently moved. In his own words, he’s happier, seeing more new patients and saving almost 25% on rent costs in a nicer, updated facility. I personally traveled to see his office in its final form and its amazing. He got the exact kind of practice he spent years hoping for.

You can do this to. But you must get the first stages right or you’re in for a world of hurt.

#1 STRATEGY For Your Dental Practice Relocation
= Co-Creation =

———————————-
We’re going to get you to use surveys and tap into some extraordinary benefits from them (hint: its not the typical survey benefit)

1. The goal will be to get patients to co-create the new office with you, at specific stages
2. This will look like a survey of paint colors, or operatory names or logo design
3. During the construction stages, send out multiple surveys to patients requesting their help
4. Get this out in newsletters, facebook pages, email blasts, whatever it takes to get them engaged in the process

Why?
Humans commit to the things they help create.
By activating the co-creation nerve, you’re getting two HUGE benefits:
a) your patient’s best opinions and wisdom, tapping into the genius and preferences of your patients
b) your patients will naturally be more committed to the new location

Next…

#2 STRATEGY For Your Dental Practice Relocation
= A Big Simple Map =

—————————————–
1. Get a big map and put it in the waiting room at least 6 months before you move
2. The map should show the fastest route from your existing office to the new office
3. Put it on an easel next to the front desk
4. Tell the receptionist to make a big deal about the map to every patient from now until moving day

Why?
People will go to familiar places first.
We want your patients to feel like your new location is familiar even if they’re never been there before.

Bonus: put the map under every survey from the paragraph above

Next…

#3 STRATEGY For Your Dental Practice Relocation
= Iconic Location =

—————————————–
I talk about this in my book, Practice Location.
The concept is simply this…pick a new office location directly next to a prominent, known local icon.

In other words, if your new practice is next to a familiar iconic location in the community, the practice itself will feel more familiar. Even if they’ve never been there.
With a great iconic location, you can establish:
– credibility
– authority
– perceived value
– familiarity
– etc

An example would be a local monument… or well known park… or town hall… or large mural… or any other major recognizable location.

Bonus:
Choose a new building with an iconic location that matches your values for your practice (like how my firm uses the image of the Liberty Bell to talk refer to proclaiming liberty through practice ownership).

You can enhance and deepen the “message” your practice stands for by positioning your practice next to an iconic location that carries a message similar to the vision you have for your practice.

Extra Bonus:
We’re giving away 1000 free copies of my book this year…there may still be copies left here:
www.HowToOpenADentalOffice.com/free
You can pick up a number of other powerful site selection ideas in that book.

BOTTOM LINE:
—————————————-
Existing, healthy, established practices like yours can successfully make a dental practice relocation like this “work”…,even with a horrible set of demographics and competition.

But it is imperative that you:

A) Have a powerful PATIENT RETENTION strategy and marketing budget (as discussed in this podcast episode)

B) Activate the co-creation nerve in your patients for the highest level of commitment

C) Strategically choose your practice relocation spot for maximum impact (this goes way beyond rent costs and the appearance of the building)

Best of luck!!

Source: HOW TO OPEN A DENTAL OFFICE

3D Imaging and Design

3D Design and Imaging goes beyond the Construction Industry.

As a construction industry leader Liberty Group Construction and Design strives to utilize the best technology available. The use of 3D Design has long given us an advantage on project development, visualization and completion. Clients take full advantage of the benefits 3D Design provides when we present them with initial conceptual designs and we have seen a great improvement in time management during the revision process because of this.

Similarly, the dental equipment industry has been developing more efficient ways to facilitate a dentist workload with the use of 3D technology. Prexion Inc., a provider of CBCT equipment, has announced the launch of its new Prexion Excelsior 3-D CBCT scanner. The Prexion Excelsior 3-D CBCT scanner has the smallest focal point in the industry, and Prexion has also advanced all other core CBCT technologies, including the x-ray tube and the flat panel detector (FPD).The new Excelsior CBCT scanner couples the smallest focal spot (0.3 mm) with the following: a voxel size of 0.1–0.2, 1024 volume size, 360-degree gantry rotation, and advancements in the Prexion software.

Because of these features, the Excelsior can deliver 30% lower radiation exposure without compromising the image quality.The Prexion software integrates into dentists’ networks without any specialized hardware. The Prexion 3-D Viewer can be installed on any Windows PC on the network and allows scans to be viewed from any computer (with no annual viewer licensing fees).The launch of the Prexion Excelsior CBCT scanner coincides with a change in business model from direct sales to distribution.To learn more about Prexion or its products, visit Prexion.com.

Source: Prexion press release, 23 January 2017

Private Dental Clinics Is A Profitable Industry

Private dental clinics already top the rankings of the nation’s most profitable industries.

According to IBISWorld market research published earlier this year, dental revenues are soaring industry-wide after years of negative or stagnant gains, with 5.7% annual growth rates forecast through 2021. Profit margin (currently at 19.7%) is also expected to hit 24.6% in five years. Considering that private dental clinics already top the rankings of the nation’s most profitable industries, these are truly remarkable times.

Experts say this rapid move toward consolidation is making it more feasible for dentists to invest in much-needed capital projects. For example, it usually costs between $300,000 and $500,000 to start a practice. Combine that with increased overhead and soaring debt levels for dental school graduates, and it’s no wonder the traditional sole practitioner model is losing appeal.

In its place, dental practice management corporations (DPMCs) and corporate franchises are using economies of scale to lower operational costs and free up money for physical expansion. It’s one reason why names such as American Dental Partners, Smile Brands Group, Comfort Dental, Coast Dental, and Aspen Dental have established themselves as regional and national players.

Michael Unthank, a registered architect and dentist who has designed more than 1,000 dental and specialty offices, writes, “Creating a new office environment will likely be the largest single investment you make in your practice.”1 To maximize value, as well as customer experience, he recommends a long-term, quality-first approach that creates a “highly functional, pleasant, inviting, and professional environment.”

Source: Written by Dentistry IQ