The medical office your patients really want to visit

Are you looking to make the patient’s time in your practice as pleasant and memorable as possible? When done, it not only benefits patients immensely, but also reflects positively on your practice, staff, and doctors. The design of the space is key to how the patient interacts with the space.

 

Welcoming waiting room

First impressions certainly count, so having a clean and bright waiting room is essential to making a positive impression on your patients. The cleanliness of your waiting room and the accommodations you provide, be it coffee, tea and/or WiFi, will reflect on how the patient perceives the overall care he or she receives in your office. An added bonus, to ensure patients will love coming to your practice, are computer work stations, kid-areas with TVs and games, and “Family Corners” for quite privacy.

 

Modern examination room

It is more important than ever for clinics to have modern and updated exam rooms. This ensures that the patients feel safe and that they will receive the best care through the newest technologies available. Up-to-date clinics who apply new advancements in the field are constantly surpassing the competition in terms of customer satisfaction.

 

Caring staff

The appearance of your staff and how they treat patients reflects on your practice, and the likelihood of them recommending your clinic. Ensure your staff wears matching, clean scrubs and that they treat patients with politeness and patience, especially on the more stressful days of the week where patients are enduring longer wait times.

Our recommendation: spend a lunch break in the waiting room and look around you. Examine how the staff interacts with patients and contemplate what could be improved in the waiting and examination rooms. See your practice from the point of view your patients see it.

How 3D models can assist in perfecting ergonomic design

Rhinoceros, Blender3D, SketchUp or ZBrush are the four big program names when considering 3D modeling.  3D modeling consists of design, geometry, and, in particular, math. Designers, architects, and even construction firms are able to, using special software, give a mathematical description of the object and its surface.

Today, architects, engineers, and construction model coordinators face more and more daunting challenges. Structures continue becoming more complex and the field simply demands that as much detail of a building system be shown as possible. 3D modeling, as opposed to 2D design, brings several benefits to overcome those challenges.

Efficiency – 3D modeling leaves more time to focus on the design of constructions, as it is easier to ensure that the plan, section and elevation express the original conceptual intent. Using 3D modeling saves the designers time, and the clients money.

Precision – 3D modeling allows more precision and control of single design elements than ever before. Every small detail of a building can be separately analyzed and measured.

Pricing – 3D modeling allows architects and construction firms to put their building to test before they are built, to avoid costly mistakes for clients. Clients can see the end result before the construction process has even begun, and it allows architects and designers to see the building’s reaction to stress factors and tolerances.

In the long run, not only does the construction firm and architect benefit from 3D modeling, but mainly it is the client who comes out on top with receiving a complex yet tested final product. 3D modeling helps the client envision the how their new space will look like, but also save them time and money during the construction and design project.

Liberty Group, LLC has been using 3D modeling for their clients for years to stay up to date with current trends. If you want to learn more about how 3D modeling can benefit your, contact us today toll free at (888) 308-6869.

Checklist you need before starting a practice

Are you considering opening your own practice? You are not alone: a growing number of doctors want to make the leap into independant business ownership every year. Shaping your own work environment, hours invested, and applied techniques are some of the many reasons healthcare professional across the field strive to open a private practice. There are many things to consider when opening a business in the healthcare industry, be it seemingly minor details such as where to get business cards printed, or more significant aspects like the floor plan layout and size of your new practice.

 

Here is a list to get you started when thinking about launching your own practice:

    • Create a business plan, including a marketing and strategic financial plan to alleviate concerns about cashflow and initial capital invested.
    • Spend time meeting with various architects, interior designers, and contractors to ensure you create a team of professionals who have your business’s best interest in mind while being best suited for your long term vision.
    • Conduct market research while speaking with business consultants to decide the ideal office location and whether its best to rent or buy the space.
    • Determine a legal structure and obtain all appropriate licensing, such as business and medical licenses. Don’t forget about insurance!
    • Ensure that the candidates you hire to join the staff will be worth the investment you make in training them for the long term.
    • Setup your office and make sure you are up to speed on local business codes, Tax ID , NPI, DEA, etc.
    • Work on a fee schedule and setup an accounting system.
    • Work with designers on the layout of the space to ensure efficient traffic flow for both patients and the staff.
    • Establish furnishing, equipment placement, and clinical supplies needs prior to placing orders.
    • Establish information technology needs like appointment booking systems.
    • Plan for IT installation and training, such as internet, phone system, and electronic health record-keeping.
    • Choose vendors for maintenance, supplies, payment processing, and other office needs.

Having an experienced partner when opening your practice is vital to its success. Liberty Group Construction has been working with medical practices for the past years and would love to help you get started. Contact us today at (888) 308-6869 and we will ensure your vision of opening your own practice becomes a reality.

Making your waiting room a pleasant experience for your patients

The average waiting time at a medical office is 21 minutes. This is often more time than the patient actually spends with the doctor, therefore making a large impact on how the patient perceives the quality of care.

Below are tips for designing your waiting room to make a positive impact on your patients:

    • Patients love to use their waiting time actively. A flat screen displaying the news and a stack of magazines can only take you so far. Free WiFi is often the minimum a client expects in a waiting room. If you are looking to go a step further than that, think about setting up small desks or workstations so your patients can use the waiting time actively. If a patient can feel productive and amused while waiting for their appointment they may feel as if there was no wait at all!
    • Patients want to take control. Most patients dislike being seated in a hard chair next to strangers waiting for their appointment. Giving patients some control back will help improve their overall experience. Consider giving your patients space to sit in the children’s corner, have coffee on a communal table, or setup a muted tv. Additionally, alert patients on a screen, or via text alerts when their appointment is coming up. This has been one of the most requested features by patients in the last several of years.
    • Patients love being pampered. Setting up a coffee bar and tea bar is a great bonus to shorten and ease the waiting time for clients. Think about going further and leaving a real impression, like some dentists who offered massage chair for waiting parents. A dentist that posted their waiting room massage chairs garnished over 1000 likes on Instagram which doubled as free advertising for the practice.

No matter if you want to improve your waiting room, or entire practice, Liberty Group, LLC is here to assist you.

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.

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Source: DENTAL ECONOMICS