How to Rethink Your Dental Practice’s Reception Area

Simply put, a reception area is reflective of a dental practice’s values and sets the scene for patient visits. Pre-COVID-19, waiting rooms were starting to incorporate refreshment bars and charging stations, but now, with heightened concerns about safety and infection control, it’s important for reception spaces to be equally clean and comfortable. Here are some forward-thinking details to add to your reception space as dental practices get back in full swing.

A clean appearance

Yes, cleanliness is a top priority for both staff and patients, but your reception desk and waiting room should also perceive cleanliness. The trick is to not make the setting seem sterile but rather to include some personality to help put patients at ease. Think solid-surface or quartz countertops, plastic laminate cabinetry with durable PVC edge banding, vinyl wall covering, and commercial-grade vinyl flooring but avoid paper-based wall covering, residential or low-end vinyl flooring, and any unfinished wood that can break down and harbor contaminants.

Furniture choices

Upholstered seating and curtains can feel homey but also create an environment where bacteria can persist. Similarly, soft textiles, low-grade vinyl, and even wood can break down easily and harbor bacteria. Commercial-grade furniture and durable, nonporous materials can make reception spaces easier to disinfect and appear cleaner for longer. To help reduce the spread, reception furniture must be regularly treated with EPA-registered, hospital-grade cleaning products.

Intentional choices

Small but impactful design choices will only add to the patient experience and perception. Hand out branded water bottles at the reception desk in lieu of a refreshment stand. Install motion-activated doors, light switches, or temperature scanners to reduce physical touchpoints. Add ambient air purifiers that capture, clean, and safely recirculate air add another layer of protection. Vinyl wall graphics even add style and personality to your space while being easy to clean.

Maintain social distancing

Since we don’t know for how long social distancing will be a part of our everyday lives, consider furniture that is not fixed to floors or walls to rearrange to reduce density for easy adaption over time. A variety of seating options will also create visual interest. A positive experience upfront affects patient loyalty, the practice’s brand, and overall reputation, all of which are important more now than ever.

What’s next?

Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies for more guidance on how to navigate your dental practice post-COVID-19.