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Gavin Willis, Managing Director of Paradigm Design Solutions, explains how his company can help you review your options and avoid costly mistakes.

We spend a fair amount of time at Paradigm talking about what we really mean by success. Not surprising really, because our success absolutely depends on our having successful Clients. But what we try to do is understand the common themes that spell success to a profession whose opinions and aspirations are very different and varied.

What I have concluded is probably pretty obvious. The most successful dentists are those who work in an environment in which they consistently deliver the kind of dentistry of which they feel proud. Of course some dentists are more ambitious than others; some may demand higher standards of living for themselves, but the bottom line is this. Unless you work in an environment that truly reflects your style of working, you will never realise anything like your full potential.

That’s why practice design is so critically important.


What works...... and what doesn’t

Let’s deal with this one quickly. Unless a practice designer truly understands the way dentistry works anything he or she designs will fall short. We’re not simply talking here about the basics of compliance and architecture but rather the subtleties of work flow, positioning of equipment, use of space, future proofing and the like. In other words practice and surgery design require specialist knowledge and experience.....however big, however small the project.

The reason why we are good at what we do is that we do understand dentistry and as a result we have designed some of the most of the most visually stunning and successful practices in the country. But there is another reason that we believe sets us apart. We listen and we listen carefully.

We will advise and we will do so at an early stage, because experience has shown us those things that really don’t work. But what we also do is take the time to learn about you, your preferences and your working style. We are all different and one size suits all solutions are, in my opinion, facile.

What we are seeking to achieve, from the start of any project, is an accurate and realistic appreciation of its potential. This is where the investment of time in understanding our clients and their requirements comes into its own. Irrespective of budget, we want you to have the very best advice and guidance. I would rather turn away work than give anyone second best.


Learning about you. Some practical steps

Whatever type and size of your practice, we start by assuming that you want your patients to spend more money with you. Obviously putting up your charges is one route, but that is not what we’re focusing on here; rather we like to set off by reviewing the ways that, by improving the patient experience, they are encouraged to use more of the services you provide. In other words, you’re looking to upgrade.

We have to structure our service according to the budget available but having said that it may well be possible to achieve what is required and come in below budget. That’s why it’s sensible to invest time in reconciling a number of issues from the beginning. Let me explain what I mean:

- If you’re in a situation in which you’re undecided about to about how to move forward..... perhaps uncertain whether you want to refurbish, renovate, extend or even move premises, we can provide you with what is effectively a self assessment questionnaire that is not only simple to work through but will help clarify your thinking. Once completed return it to us and we’ll give you objective suggestions as to how you should progress. There is absolutely no commitment on your part. If we feel we can help you we will explain exactly how and give a clear indication of any costs involved. Contact details are at the bottom of this article

- If your thinking with regard to a practice/surgery project is clear in your mind, it’s always going to be worth talking to people who got experience under their belt. From our point of view we welcome comparison with our competitors and we always recommend your talking to colleagues who have undertaken a similar project. So, if you are at this point with your project contact us and just talk it through. Again this involves no commitment and we’ll help wherever we can


A successful conclusion

Whist we do not position ourselves as business advisers, we have no hesitation in stating that practice design is a key contributor to business success and that to ignore its significance will impact on the bottom line.

But let’s end with the words of Albert Schweitzer.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you’re doing you will be successful.


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