A Dentist’s Sterilization Center is the New “Glove”… I’ll explain…
Would you even DARE referring her to a doctor like that? Of course not!
Well, today’s informed patients are figuring out that the Sterilization Center is today’s dental office equivalent of gloves. That’s right, a dentist’s sterilization area is the new “gloves”. (See the bonus video at the bottom for more…)
Beyond the topic of the new “gloves”, what about finances? Seriously. Could the design and creation of your steri-center impact your finances? I firmly believe the Sterilization Center has the power to determine your practice’s success – and much more – and here’s why…
If you plan on trying to save on space or expense by trimming down on the steri-center, you may be in for a rude awakening in the eyes of the educated patient.
There are 2 primary reasons why a properly planned sterilization area is a big deal…
1. Like a Bathroom in a Restaurant
See, a sterilization center’s panache is akin to the cleanliness of a restaurant’s bathroom. Patients may never be able to judge your occlusion carving technique but they can easily spot a crummy sterilization center.
The truth is that patients are humans. And humans look for ways to create an understanding of their environment. Most new patients are fearful and uncomfortable in a brand new dental home…and one way they look to be assured they’re in a good clinical environment is through evidence of sterility.
If every patient must walk passed the sterilization area, and if the staff is properly trained to educated the patient in the benefits to their clinical care derived from your amazing sterilization area, you will make a lasting impression in the minds of all patients.
Why don’t more practice owners do this?
Take the bold move to benefit your practice with raving, informed and comforted patients by planning out your sterilization area so they notice! Make sure you have a sterilization center that loudly shouts a clear message. Hopefully, your steri-center yells, “we prioritize sterilization!”
2. The BottleNeck
Have you experienced this? That frustrating moment when the patient is waiting for their procedure to begin…the Dr is chair-side and it becomes clear that the right clinical instrument/hand-piece/device hasn’t gone through the autoclave?
Most doctors have experienced this horrible frustration but it doesn’t have to be that way! A sterilization center that is designed specifically for the volume of that particular practice will help eliminate the “BottleNeck” problem.
With the right configuration you’ll keep your practice free from the BottleNeck, avoiding the frustration for you, your staff and your patients.
Beyond the configuration, the positioning of your sterilization center in your floor plan can dramatically improve office flow…
…but you must create that plan very early in your process and it must be communicated to your Practice Project Team or you’ll lose time, money and sanity trying to fix it later on.
Improving office flow will unquestionably impact your financial success. Consider some simple math: if each procedure can be decreased by 5 minutes because of the positioning of the Steri-center, you could create another 20-45 minutes per day for more procedures.
I’ve seen the bottleneck in many older practices and watched the amazing levels of production increase with things like proper planning of the Sterilization Area. Choose your configuration and your positioning wisely…the effects will linger in your practice and your career for many years to come.
What ways are you planning on incorporating sterilization center design, configuration and positioning?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Click Here to schedule a consultation and tell me about your vision for your practice – we’ll discuss the custom needs of your facility and the proper proportions for your sterilization center.
As a bonus to this post, I’ve posted a video that I took after I lectured in a dental education facility this week. While I was in their clinical area, I made note of their facility and a few observations that you can incorporate into your new dental office design.
Watch the video and get a peek into that training facility! And post your comments below to let me know what you think!