A Case Study in Site Strategy for Dental Practices

A Case Study in Site Strategy for Dental Practices

Thomas Junnila, CCIM:

Editors’ note: The following “case report” was scheduled to appear with the September-October 2009 feature article “Growing Your Practice in Today’s Slow (or No) Growth Economy“ by Thomas Junnila, CCIM. We refer readers to that article for background on the place of the relocation option in our
“new” economy.
The Editors

The Challenge
A highly successful endodontics practice concluded that the growth prospects of one of its clinics were being hindered by that clinic’s location in an older facility sandwiched between two other health care providers. Consultants were engaged to develop and execute a comprehensive relocation strategy with a goal of increasing patient count, growing the practice, and enhancing the level and efficiency of care delivery with a view to increasing the ultimate value of the practice.

The Criteria
The new location selected must facilitate incorporation of the newest dental technology, in terms of both equipment and computerization, enabling the delivery of enhanced levels of dental care. Its physical “presence” and exterior finishes must create a positive first impression of the clinic facilities and communicate the advanced nature of care being provided. The design and buildout of the clinic must allow for future expansion and additional operatories to accommodate growth as needed, although all would not be constructed at the outset. Finally, the new clinic must be located within a few miles of its former location, in order to maintain current referral sources and patient traffic generated by their referrals.

The Solution
Following an extensive search in the clinic’s market area, consultants advised that the practice be relocated to a professional medical building. A potential clinic suite of the appropriate size and “fit” was identified in a “to be built” professional medical building, the design and quality of which would project the contemporary image the practice’s owner was seeking. The building had just one non-competing major tenant; would allow all of the new clinic’s functions, including staff and doctor support services, to be located on one floor; and had sufficient space to permit installation of air compressors and suctioning equipment in a way that would isolate noise from the patient areas of the clinic.

The Outcome
A long- term lease with an exclusivity of services clause and provisions for the future expansion of the facility was negotiated. With the consultant’s guidance, the interior design, buildout, and fixturing were planned and executed, along with new exterior signage which complements the other professional tenants and projects an image of contemporary excellence not possible at its former location. The clinic is now operating with the latest in technology for patient care, education, and comfort.

Advantages of Relocation in a Professional Building
1. The clinic is located in a health care “branded” property, in the company of other health care providers and service organizations.
2. Locating in a multi-tenant professional building increases opportunity for cross-referrals of patients through networking with other health care providers and services.
3. The building itself helps to project a high degree of credibility on the part of the clinic and the services it provides.
4. Professional buildings are routinely designed to provide the latest in accessibility features for older patients or patients with disabilities.
5. Convenient, ample parking and easy on-site access to building entrances are major property features which are attractive to both patients and staff.

 

*Mr. Junnila is president of the Junnila Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Email is tomj@junnilacompany.com.