How Workflows and Patient Experience Can Impact Surgery Design

Discover how our streamlined staff workflow and patient-focused approach can transform your surgery design and dental practice.

How Workflows and Patient Experience Can Impact Surgery Design

Creating a Compliant and Comfortable Space: The Importance of Surgery Design

As a dental practice manager or dentist, you know that patient and staff experience is everything.

Patients want to feel comfortable and safe during their visit to your practice, and the design of your surgery plays a major role in creating that experience.

From the cabinetry layout to the positioning of the dental chair, every element of your surgery design can impact the patient as well as your staff.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of surgery design in enhancing the environment and creating a compliant, comfortable space for patients and staff.

We'll also discuss key elements of surgery design that you should consider when planning or redesigning your practice.

Cabinetry Design

One of the most critical components of surgery design is the layout of the cabinetry.

A redesign of the cabinetry can dramatically improve the workflow and customer experience of a surgery.

It can also be used to create a calming and inviting atmosphere in your practice with a clean and bright appearance. This will contribute substantially to the ambience for the patient.

Chair Position

The position of the dental chair can impact patient comfort and staff workflow during procedures.

The patient's comfort is critical, so dental chairs with knee-break functionality will aid this. And during long procedures, soft upholstery will also add to the patient’s experience.

The dentist will need to be able to work efficiently and to ensure this, the position of the delivery system will be a necessity.

Equipment Placement

The placement of equipment is another crucial element of surgery design that can impact the patient experience and staff workflow.

Equipment should be placed in a way that is easy for staff to access and use, while also being out of the way of patients. This can contribute to a more efficient workflow and a safer patient experience.

Decontamination Areas

Another essential consideration of surgery design is the decontamination process.

Will this process take place within the surgery? Or will there be a dedicated decontamination room?

A well-designed space can improve the efficiency of your practice and maximise infection control.

If staff are carrying instruments through the waiting room this would not be a good example of customer experience.

Therefore, this process will need to be given consideration when designing the layout of the surgery or even the whole practice.

Creating a Compliant and Comfortable Space

A compliant and comfortable space is essential for creating a positive experience for the patient.

A compliant space ensures that you are adhering to industry standards and regulations, while a comfortable space helps patients feel at ease during their visit.

By considering elements such as cabinetry, chair position, equipment placement and decontamination you can create a more efficient and safer workflow for your staff.

How Workflows and Patient Experience Can Impact Surgery Design

The Services Corridor and Breakout Room: Supporting Efficient Workflows

One often-overlooked aspect of surgery design is the potential of a services corridor.

And supplying staff with a breakout room can greatly improve retention and efficiency.

These spaces can play a vital role in supporting effective workflows and will have a positive effect on improving the overall success of your practice.

The Services Corridor

The services corridor is a space within the practice that connects the individual surgeries to the decontamination room and other support spaces.

An efficient services corridor can significantly improve staff workflows by providing a smooth flow of materials and instruments between these spaces.

When designing your services corridor, consider the following:

  • The width of the corridor should be sufficient to allow for easy movement of staff and equipment
  • The flooring should be durable and easy to clean
  • Shelving or storage units should be provided to store materials and instruments

The Breakout Room

This space is designed for staff to take breaks and regroup during busy days.

The breakout room is essential for staff to recharge and improve their overall well-being, which can have a significant impact on staff efficiency and lead to a greater patient experience.

When designing a breakout room, consider the following:

  • The size of the room should be sufficient to accommodate all staff members
  • Comfortable furniture should be provided
  • The room should have natural light and be decorated in a calming and inviting manner

Designing for Efficient Workflows and Patient Experience

Designing a dental practice that supports efficient workflows and enhances the patient experience is essential for long-term success.

By considering the services corridor and breakout room during the design process, you can create a more efficient and effective practice that will have a significant impact on staff workflows.

Adding the Wow Factor: Incorporating Branding and Technology

In today's competitive market, a clinical look may not be enough to impress patients and stand out from the competition.

To truly add the "wow factor," consider incorporating branding and technology into your practice's clinical look.


Branding is a powerful tool for creating a memorable and recognisable practice.

Incorporating your practice's logo, colours and message into your clinical design can help patients remember your practice and feel a stronger connection to your brand.

Consider the following when incorporating branding into your clinical design:

  • Use your logo on signage, walls and other visible surfaces
  • Choose colours that match your branding and create a cohesive look throughout the practice
  • Incorporate your practice's message or tagline into your signage or other design elements


Technology is constantly evolving, and adding cutting-edge technology to your dental practice will help you deliver better patient care and enhance the entire patient experience.

Technology may also bring a modern and high-tech aspect to your clinical design, giving your practice a "wow" appeal.

Consider the following when incorporating technology into your clinical design:

  • Use digital displays to showcase educational content or patient testimonials
  • Install televisions or other entertainment options in the waiting room
  • Consider using digital scheduling and record-keeping systems to streamline workflows and improve patient communication

Designing for a Clinical Look with a Wow Factor

By incorporating branding and technology into your clinical design, you can create a memorable and impressive practice that stands out from the competition.

Consider the above tips when designing or redesigning your practice to create a clinical look with a wow factor.

The Role of Light in Patient Experiences and Staff Workflows

Patient experience and staff workflows are the keys to building a successful practice.

However, you may not have considered the role that lighting plays in creating a positive impression for the patient and optimising staff workflows.

By strategically using lighting in your practice, you can improve patient comfort, staff efficiency and the overall success of your practice.

Lighting for Patients

A stunning bay window, such as 1 Harley Street, or an excellent view may surely boost aesthetics and patient experience, but this can also be accomplished by the use of lighting, such as cabinet down lighting, wall lights and picture feature lighting.

Consider the following when designing your lighting layout:

  • Use warm, soft lighting in the waiting room to create a cosy and inviting atmosphere
  • Use bright, natural lighting in treatment rooms to reduce nervousness in patients
  • Use a ratio of 1:5 between the ambient and task lighting

Lighting for Staff

Lighting can also greatly impact staff workflows.

By using lighting to optimise workspaces, staff can perform their jobs more efficiently, which can save time and improve patient care.

Consider the following when designing your lighting scheme:

  • Use bright, task lighting in workspaces to help staff see clearly and avoid eye strain
  • Lighting should be clean and uniform, free from shadows
  • Colours and shades should be easily matched, and similar to natural light

Designing with Light in Mind

When designing or redesigning your dental practice, it's important to consider the role of lighting in both patient experience and staff workflows.

By strategically using lighting to create a comfortable and efficient environment, you can improve the overall success of your practice.

Consider the above tips when designing your lighting scheme to create a practice that is both welcoming and optimised for your staff.

Workflow and Patient Experience: Using Design to Create an Efficient and Effective Practice

By creating a space that is organised and efficient, staff can perform their duties more quickly and effectively, which can ultimately improve care for your patients.

Consider the following when designing your practice's workflow:

  • Create a services corridor to allow for efficient transportation of materials and equipment
  • Optimise equipment placement to reduce staff travel time and improve access to essential tools
  • Design a breakout room for staff to take breaks and recharge, improving morale and focus

The patient experience is equally important to your success.

By creating a space that is welcoming and comfortable, patients are more likely to return and refer others to your practice.

Consider the following when designing for patient experience:

  • Use comfortable seating in the waiting room to reduce patient anxiety and stress
  • Choose colours and materials that are calming and soothing to create a relaxing atmosphere
  • Incorporate technology and even refreshments to present the ‘wow factor’

Designing for Success

We believe that identifying and delivering the right solution for each practice provides the best value for our customers.

Carefully consulting with you - and viewing every aspect through your lens of future success - we ascertain how each and every design and build element will increase your business performance.

Our focus is to help you create an environment that works for you and your staff while building customer loyalty and advocacy.

We provide the complete fit-out solution following our unique 3 Stage Approach to delivering Dental Practice Success Built-in.

What does dental practice success look like for you? Contact us and we’ll help you to acheive it.

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