The red carpet. Conjures up star studded events such as the Academy Awards and other award shows. The people that walk there are special. They get noticed. They get treated well. Is it too much to ask to get a little “red carpet” treatment injected into our everyday lives? The patients that come to your dental office deserve nothing less.
We’re not advocating that every dental office be designed with red carpeting. That would be rather dull, wouldn’t it? No, instead we’re advocating that the experience of walking into one’s dental office should make a patient feel they are the most important person in the world at that moment. They should be immediately surrounded by colors, lights, and textures that make them feel calm, relaxed, and confident that they will receive excellent oral health care. They should be greeted by a warm, smiling person that acknowledges that their presence is appreciated and important. They should be offered a comfortable place to sit, a secure place to hang their coat, and a beverage to warm them or quench their thirst. While the goal is to never have anyone waiting, one cannot anticipate the patient that arrives early or the unexpected procedure that delays an operatory from being available exactly as scheduled.
In accordance with HIPAA patients should not be addressed by their full names and there should not be a sign in sheet that identifies them or their appointment time where other patients may read this information. Gone should be the ultra-unfriendly and overly clinical glass window that staff hides behind and cuts them off from patients.
We’ve never walked into a day spa that didn’t immediately make us feel good about being there. The same thing cannot be said about many dental offices. While dental offices are not day spas, there is no reason that dental offices can’t take a page from the day spa handbook on how to give patients a “walk on the red carpet.”