Common pitfalls when designing reception/waiting areas
Wow! designs are not always best * How do you easily clean each and every item in the area? If you can’t answer this question in one sentence then think again. Dental Council requires practices to have an Infection Prevention & Control policy covering clinical and non-clinical areas. True, there is a balance between giving patients a pleasant environmental experience and ensuring areas are clean. But if an inspector requests your cleaning protocol for soft furnishing, light fittings, indoor plants, shelves with ornaments or wooden panels etc. your document must be fit for purpose, plus evidence that it is being carried out. Consider finishing materials with care e.g. with soft furnishings (seating, rugs, blinds) have them pre-treated with a hydrophobic agent so they can be wiped down, chose easy to dust larger broadleaf plants. Latticed/grooved wooden panels will hold dirt, so opt for flat surfaces. Ornaments should be easily lifted with one hand with the other dusting underneath. Think “how do I clean it?” before finalising your design. Wow! and clean are not mutually exclusive. Still, in doubt then get advice from an infection control expert here.