Dos and don'ts for practice efficiency: Make all treatment rooms the same

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When designing treatment rooms, the goal is efficiency. This means carefully planning every detail -- and making all such rooms as uniform as possible. The concept is that everyone -- doctor, hygienist, and assistant -- will perform better because they know exactly where everything is. Treatment room uniformity reduces stress, and studies show that practices with similar treatment rooms work 10% to 12% faster than those without.

Do

Identify your ideal treatment room, and duplicate it. Many dental professionals feel that they work better in some treatment room configurations than others. Informally or in a monthly staff meeting, discuss team members' likes and dislikes for the practice's treatment rooms. Figure out what everyone likes, and why. If an existing room stands out, use it as the model. Otherwise, simply create the "ideal" room and see how it works.

Don

Don't hesitate to invest in improved room configurations. Some budget-conscious dentists decide to keep their treatment rooms as they are, rather than investing in making them uniform ... and more efficient. However, the potential return on this improvement, in the form of faster performance, makes it a smart investment.

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