Technology and Design Converge to Shape the Future of Outpatient...

Technology and Design Converge to Shape the Future of Outpatient Dentistry

Brian Bixler, Director, Neurosciences, Dentistry Pain, and Occupational Medicine, Rochester Regional Health, Rochester

Brian Bixler, Director, Neurosciences, Dentistry Pain, and Occupational Medicine, Rochester Regional Health, Rochester

Huge windows, natural lighting, free parking, bus access, more exam and treatment rooms, and a lobby that combines warm and welcoming with a sleek and futuristic layout. When it opened this summer, the Riedman Health Center revitalized an old plaza with an empty anchor space to provide an easily-accessible one-stop health care destination. Now, in a comfortable setting away from a traditional hospital, patients have one location for primary care, pediatrics, ophthalmology, pharmacy, imaging, blood drawing and dentistry.

Like all of the specialties located in the new Riedman Health Center, our dentistry team saw a unique opportunity to couple new and emerging technology with innovative design to give our care providers the best tools and give our patients the best experience and outcomes.

Transforming the Patient Experience


From the moment patients walk in the door, technology influences their experience. To reduce wait times, we’ve shifted registration from the traditional receptionist with a desk, to self-service kiosks that allow for fast and simple registration, payment and insurance card scanning. For patients who need assistance, we have staff ready to walk them through the process.

Patient Flow and Comfort:

Planning a space for the future goes beyond the integration of emerging technology, it also includes adopting thoughtful design to optimize flow and fit the priorities of modern patients and care providers.

In the mold of our other new outpatient locations, the clinic flow has been designed to have “on-stage” and “off-stage” areas, improving the experience for everyone. Patients approach the rooms walking down quiet hallways no longer exposed to what can be noisy, hectic support spaces. The “off-stage” area includes those support spaces and a large workplace for staff collaboration and a screen for staff to track each patient’s status and optimize patient flow.

Adaptable Patient Rooms:

Patient rooms, with the exception of the oral surgery suites, have all been constructed to be interchangeable, meaning if there is an empty room, we can make it fit the needs of the next patient and get them the care they need sooner.

Preparing for future technology

With each major expansion, renovation or new space, we feel the responsibility to not just plan for current needs, but to ensure our new space is outfitted to take on emerging technology and provide patients with the best options in the industry.

Although the center just opened this summer, we already have an aggressive plan to integrate additional technology to our dentistry area over the coming months, including:

• PlanmecaProMax 3D:

This cone beam CT scanner allows providers to use traditional dental panoramic and cephalometric x-rays or three-dimensional images to better map out dental implants, create complex surgical plans for trauma, and prepare for reconstructive and orthognastic surgeries.

• OnPoint Lite Scope System:

The micro endoscope system will allow the oral surgeons to perform therapeutic and diagnostic TMJ arthroscopy in the outpatient setting, giving patients more accessibility and comfort.

• 3 Shape TRIOS:

This digital dental impression system allows us to avoid using traditional dental impression materials to make models for dentures, implants, crowns and surgical planning. The process is significantly more comfortable for patients and makes a far more accurate representation of the patient’s bite.

As more health care services move to outpatient settings, patients will enjoy greater comfort and accessibility than ever before. However, an important lesson for those moving to similar new retail spaces is to design with the future in mind—give yourself the ability to easily adapt to emerging technological developments and the evolving needs of patients.

Weekly Brief

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