By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Pop culture changes fast – especially for young people like your patients. For the typical 12-year-old, what’s totally awesome today will get an eye roll next year. So if you want your practice to be exciting and fun for your young patients – if you want them telling their friends (potential patients) what a great place your practice is – you need to consider updating your office annually.
The following advice is based on Levin Group’s experience with thousands of successful ortho practices across the country.
- Consult with experts....Kids!
To keep up with the latest faves and fads, find out what’s currently popular with the 10–14-year-old set. You and other staff members who work directly with young patients should ask them about their favorite TV shows, movies, music, toys, games, and other types of entertainment. For additional insight, seek the advice of young family members and their friends. Unless you’re amazingly attuned to what the younger crowd’s up to these days, you’ll be surprised at what you hear.
- Use decorative elements you can change easily and inexpensively.
Unless you’ve invested in an elaborately themed décor, you should plan on changing the way your practice looks every few years. New posters, colors for the walls and other decorative touches can give your office a fun, exciting look that will appeal to the latest “generation” of young ortho patients. If you need to minimize impact on practice cash flow, renovate your interior one section at a time.
- Update your toys, games, videos, books, and other types of entertainment.
Replace everything that has become battered or boring with new stuff that will actually make young patients look forward to office visits.
- Don’t forget the parents and adult patients.
Even if your practice is oriented to children and adolescents, it should also be a surprisingly pleasant environment for grown-ups. Provide access to free high-speed Wi-Fi. Keep complimentary bottled water and perhaps even healthy snacks (fruit, for example) on hand. Stock the reception area with ample reading material suitable for adults. And, if your practice has made a major commitment to providing adult ortho treatment, consider creating a separate lounge area where adult patients won’t feel out of place.
In today’s more competitive ortho market, an attractive, fun-filled setting for young patients can help win case acceptance and generate more patient and parent referrals…and that’s pretty awesome!
Attend Dr. Levin’s ortho seminar The Business of Orthodontics… Simplified, on September 16 in Houston, tuition-free. Ask your Ortho2 Systems Consultant how to receive an Educational Grant. Go to www.levingroup.com/orthoseminars to see other dates and locations for 2016.