The Front Desk sets the tone for the dental patient experience

Dr. David Ahearn, DDS, founder and president of Design Ergonomics

By Dr. David Ahearn, DDS, Founder and President of Design Ergonomics

Great dental office Front Desk design is a foundational piece of a successful dental practice, and informs several of the most important of our 17 Elements of an Ideal Floor Plan. The Front Desk creates the first impression for patients walking through the front door, and sets the tone for the patient experience. Let’s start the discussion about how to make sure you get your Front Desk design right the first time.

Gooch dental office front desk

The Gooch Family Dental front desk sets the right tone for new patients

Immediate visual and physical access to the Front Desk upon office entry

Once inside, your patients have a clearly defined next step: checking in at the Front Desk, preferably without having to make eye contact with the sea of unfamiliar faces in the waiting room.

Your design needs to create an inviting environment by placing the Front Desk directly before them both visually and without any physical barriers. Waiting chairs should be removed to either side.

Some examples – bad and good

A traditional approach that fails to bring the best benefits possible, by missing opportunities or creating bottlenecks & disorganization, versus…
Design Ergonomics plans that are geared to optimize practice efficiency and enhance the patient, staff, and doctor’s experience


CONFUSING
:
In Example “A” below, you see that the Front Desk is hidden from the patient’s view upon approach. Not only will this confuse the patient, it prevents Front Desk staff from seeing the patient arrive.

This design creates a bad first impression

A BETTER START:
In contrast, the Front Desk “B” shown below, is visible from the outside of the building. The addition of a vestibule will alerts staff to patient arrival, so that Greeters may be ready and focused as the patient enters and approaches the Front Desk without barriers.

Good dental office front desk example

In this example, Greeters will be ready and focused as the patient enters the dental office

 

Lowrance dental front desk

A great example of clear dental office Front Desk design at Lowrance Dental

A similar effect to the good design example “B” above is also possible with a Front Desk located directly adjacent to the Entrance as shown in the two examples below:

The Forever Smiles front desk welcomes patients upon arrival

McElroy Dental front desk

Welcome to McElroy Dental

For more inspiration, take a look at our recent Front Desk and Reception work. If you have any questions, please reach out to my team at Design Ergonomics.


Dr. David Ahearn, DDS, founder and president of Design Ergonomics
Dr. David Ahearn, DDS, Founder and President of Design Ergonomics and Ergonomic Products. To learn a little more about my journey in dentistry, and other principles you can apply to make your practice a fun, easy, and productive place to work, take a look at our This Can All Be Easierplaylist on YouTube. If you enjoy these videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/designequiptrain. Turn on notifications to receive our latest video updates.