How To Spring Clean Your Medical Practice

March 21, 2018 quick tips

With the cold days on their way out, and warm spring and summer months fast approaching, it’s time to do a little spring cleaning and prepare for a busy season ahead.

Making sure your medical practice is clean, tidy, and organized not only presents a professional and reassuring appearance for your patients, it also helps to keep your staff productive and on task.

When everything has a place and everything is in its place, not only is efficiency improved, but quality of care too. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prep for the big cleaning day.

Take Stock of Your Space

Try to view your practice through the lens of a patient. If they see dirt or trash lying around, walls in need of a touchup coat of paint, or even a chair that may be on its last legs, it all gives an impression, whether they’ve been to your practice a gazillion times, or they are walking in for the first visit.

Some questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Would they see a space that is clean and organized?
  • Would they see a space that is welcoming?
  • Would they see unsightly garbage or clutter in view?
  • Would they see dirty or scuffed walls?
  • Would they see broken or badly banged up furniture?
  • Would they see carpet in need of a shampoo?

Perceptions matter, and you want your patients to perceive your medical practice as professional and thriving. Take stock of the most visible and urgent things to do, and prioritize those first. Then you can move on to the items that are less visible, yet still important.

Start From the Top

Once you’ve figured out the things that are most pressing and address issues like repainting or minor cosmetic repairs, you can employ the top-down strategy. This means that that when you’re cleaning, you start from the ceiling and work your way down.

So things like brushing out cobwebs from corners, dusting ceiling fans and the tops of any window blinds or fixtures, cleaning the tops of shelving or storage areas, etc, should all come first. Dirt will trickle down, so by starting from the top, you can be sure you don’t miss anything.

Even if you have a cleaning crew that does a regular clean for common areas, you’ll still want to make sure you’re tackling the places that are harder to reach or that may get missed, such as faux plants, photo frames, lampshades, and baseboards.

Get Your Staff Involved

Big jobs always go faster when there is more than one set of hands working on it. Ask your employees to spend a day helping out. You can offer them overtime and treat them with lunch or dinner while you all work.

You can also ask your staff to make sure their own personal space is clean and organized, including their digital space. Make a checklist of all the things you would like to see done, and then divvy it up between everyone and get to work.

Here are a few ideas to get your team started:

  • Go through the junk drawer, or in some cases, the junk storage cabinet (everyone has one).
  • Go through any medications on site, and discard those past the expiration date.
  • Get rid of old medical supplies that are never used or have been broken.
  • Get rid of paper clutter, and file everything away properly.
  • Get rid of old business cards and papers with old logos.
  • Get rid of out-dated mail, magazines, and anything that is not pertinent to the practice today.
  • Clear digital clutter from computers… old files that are no longer necessary, temporary files, and make sure to place information that is necessary in properly labeled folders.

Remember that first impressions matter to your patients, and organization matters to the productivity of your staff. Take some time to give your medical practice a healthy spring clean, and greet the new season ready to take your business up a notch.



Dentist Office “Must-Haves”

March 5, 2018 quick tips

Every dental office is different and provides patient experiences in individual and authentic ways. But there are some things that should always be a consideration, if not mandatory for a successful practice. Here are a few “must-haves” every dentist office should strive to provide.

Maximize Communication and Space

Remember that whether you own your office or lease the space, you’re still paying for every square inch. So it’s important to use that space in the most efficient and productive manner possible, with no areas that are wasted. Your design needs to help your staff communicate both internally and externally with patients as well as labs and suppliers.

Working with a dental design specialist is extremely important when designing your new dental office space. These specialists can shed light on mistakes that others have made in the past (i.e. not enough storage, improper layout of cabinetry and operatories (proper spacing and size – too small, can’t comfortably fit doctor, assistant, lack of proper work surface area).

Equipment should be placed in ways that maximize the area while remaining proficient, and essentials should be given to billing over non-essentials. Make sure foot traffic is able to flow in a way that is as natural as possible, so that your patients aren’t bumping into people on their way in and out.

Office Flow

Managing the flow of traffic throughout your space is another important aspect to keep in mind when considering the layout of your office. Designated, separate check in and check out areas improve patient flow while also allowing for better control of the overall patient experience. A separate, private entrance for office staff is another crucial way to allow for smooth traffic throughout the space.

Check in should be a friendly, quick and easy opportunity to greet old patients while also making a positive first impression on new ones. Front desk staff should be presentable and in good spirits as they have the very important job of setting the tone for the entire appointment.

Check out should allow for a sense of privacy, while also serving as an opportunity to send your patients off with positive feelings that will stay with them until its time to come back for their next appointment. Offering a small gift bag, including a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, etc. adorned with your practice name/logo is a small way of saying thank you for your business, while also maintaining a positive image in the minds of your patients until their next visit.

Professional Decor

You want your office to make a good first impression for incoming patients. Tasteful decor, wall photos and paintings, and mood lighting are all great ways to create a welcoming experience.

You can add greenery like potted trees or plants or incorporate a well-placed artistic sculpture. For instance, if you go with a beach theme, that might mean paintings of the ocean on the wall, and perhaps a sand-potted bamboo tree, or photography of the wonders of the deep sea.

Waiting Room with Ambiance

Create a waiting room with an ambiance your guests will enjoy and feel comfortable in. You can do this by playing mood music or music that fits the vibe of your chosen decor.
For instance, continuing with the beach theme, perhaps you might pump ocean waves through the sound system, or play feel-good island music. A little Bob Marley anyone?

Comfy Seating

This is a definite must. It’s a reality that wait times can sometimes stretch beyond expectations. Comfortable seating can help keep patients happy and satisfied with their experience, especially if you have a lot of older clientele.

They sometimes have health issues that makes sitting for a long period of time difficult. This problem is alleviated by providing chairs that are roomy and comfy. If you want to go a step beyond, make them ergonomic.

Add a Kid Zone

There’s nothing worse than having a long wait at the dental office coupled with kids who are bored. If you have the space, adding a kid zone can help keep them entertained. You can keep toys there, books, board games, and even make tablets or gaming systems available for use if you choose. Be creative and think like a kid!

VIP Treatment

Make patients feel special and important by recording notes about them and their families or what they happen to talk about in their file, and ask about those things during their visit. Patients love to feel both seen and heard, and this is an easy way to do that without sacrificing staff efficiency.

As you can see, these are simple yet essential “must-haves” every dentist office should try to provide for their patients. For many, seeing the dentist is often an anxiety-riddled experience. Whatever your office can do to alleviate some of that anxiety and make your patients comfortable and relaxed is vital for success.


Top 5 Questions To Ask Before Leasing Medical Office Space

February 19, 2018 quick tips, relocation

After years of hard work, it’s time to expand. You’re a successful medical or dental practice and you’ve decided it’s time to lease new office space. As one of the largest expenses, choosing the right office space is a major decision that can impact your practice in so many ways.  The following five questions is a great place to start.

1. How much space do I need?

Having the wrong-size space – either too big or too small – is the biggest pitfall. So, first ask yourself if you’re downsizing or planning for continued growth. To assist in determining your current and future needs, you may want to enlist the services of an architect to help in your decision making.  They will be able to evaluate your current office, likes and dislikes and to determine the inefficiencies that may occur from your current design.  As important is choosing one that knows medical design, current practice trends and one that will understand your unique office flow.


The GZ Take: Tyson’s Corner Medical Center

January 24, 2018 The GZ Take

Good news for emergency medical practitioners and patients, Reston Hospital Center (HCA) has announced a $1.1m expansion in the Tyson’s area.

The funds have been earmarked towards a two-story, 16,250 sqft emergency center located at 2000 Old Gallows Road in Vienna. The center, will have capacity for 11 patient rooms, all dedicated to emergency care, as well as surface parking and parking for emergency services vehicles.

While the hospital is working to have the site rezoned from its current commercial use, the project has already received regulatory go-ahead from the state.

And no wonder. The development is a timely response to a boom in local population growth — one that’s on a continually upward trajectory. Current projections indicate that the area will be home to 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by 2050.

A 24-hour emergency department in the heart of this thriving area will deliver local, accessible care and take some of the pressure off county emergency services. Specifically, it will help address patient transport inefficiencies and emergency room overcrowding. We’ll see better response times and better healthcare outcomes.

But having a new player in the area isn’t just good for patients — it’s also good for healthcare industry workers. The new project will come with a need for ER physicians, nurses, imaging technologists, billing specialists, lab techs and more.

We can also expect to see competition continue to heat up between HCA and the nearby Inova Fairfax, located just 4 miles away as it has in Loudon County.  The battle will continue between the two healthcare giants to gain more of the Northern Virginian patient market share, which should be great for patients and their healthcare needs.

Given the area’s rapid expansion, the new center is likely just the beginning of what’s to come for  for patients in the Tysons/McLean/Falls Church markets. Stay tuned!

Read more about this development



Buy vs. Lease – The Medical Practice’s Guide

January 16, 2018 relocation

Finding the right medical office space is a different process for every practice. Some choose to lease, some choose to buy. There is no right or wrong answer in either direction, it really boils down to your specific needs and comparing the pros and cons accordingly. With that said, it may be helpful to ask yourself a few questions and make a list of your comparisons. Let’s talk leasing first.


4 Great Prescriptions For The Right Medical Relocation

December 5, 2017 quick tips, relocation

Building a successful medical or dental practice is hard work. Moving your practice could prove equally as challenging. If you’re an established practice currently considering relocation, you should start a must-do checklist right now. Here are four critical tips to get you started:

1. Rent or Own

Moving any office is challenging enough, relocating a medical practice is even more so. Your first logical step is deciding whether you plan to own or lease. Either scenario involves having the right information to make more informed decisions. So, next on your checklist is to partner with an agent or broker specializing in medical real estate office space. These experts can guide you at every step starting with helping you explore options that could lower the purchase price or rental rate.

2. Ideal Location

Finding the right office space also means finding a location that fits your needs. Are there convenient parking facilities for your patients, staff and suppliers? Is the address close to public transit? Is the building accessible by design with features like elevators, handicap-accessible ramps and restrooms? Another consideration to keep in mind is many older buildings don’t have the required infrastructure to support your high-tech needs.

Gittleson Zuppas Waiting Room

Create a Waiting Room Patients Enjoy

May 15, 2017 patient experience

Waiting rooms can be a dreaded place to enter. But, what if time spent in your waiting room didn’t feel like waiting at all?  What if instead of choosing between a Glamour magazine from October of 2010 & a Men’s Health from April of 2011, your patients and those that come with them to their appointments could pass time being productive or genuinely entertained?

Here is a list of items or services that can create a positive experience in your waiting room.

Waiting Room Improvement #1. Free WiFi.

With the popularity of smartphones and tablets, many people can make good use of their time if an internet connection is available.  Offer free WiFi to your patients so they can get some work in or play games and network while waiting for their appointment.