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OFFICE OF THE MONTH

Jan. 1, 2003
Dr. Steve Milios of Apopka, Fla., knows that when it comes to building a cosmetic practice, appearances are everything!

By Dr. Joe Blaes, Editor

Dr. Steve Milios and staff, Apopka, Fla.
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This month, we feature the practice of Steve P. Milios of Apopka, Fla. He is proud of his new office and the impact that it has had on both his patients and his staff. Dr. Milios describes the results of his building adventure:

"Patients coming into my office still tell me they watched the building while it was going up. They liked what they saw and that was what originally attracted them to my practice. My staff and I work hard to make that first impression last consistently throughout their treatment experience. We know that while the building may initially attract patients, it is up to us to sell our practice and ourselves.

"Just recently, a husband and wife physician team came into our practice. They both were interested in having me do some cosmetic work for them. The wife told me they figured that any dentist who could afford this kind of building must be able to provide the kind of dentistry that they were interested in.

"I found that the improved function and flow in this office actually affects our timing. While the procedures were not taking longer, the patients were staying longer to ask questions. This extended our treatment appointments, so we had to make some changes. We began introducing all new patients through a greeting and interview process in the consultation room, rather than moving them immediately into a patient chair. It has allowed us to learn more about our patients, which leads to treatment that meets their needs better.

The floor plan clearly illustrates how a good design can positively impact clinical function.
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"My production has almost doubled and my overhead is down to 55 percent. Our new patient numbers have doubled. All of this has happened without adding additional staff or working additional days. In fact, we now work four days a week rather than four- and-a-half.

"Comfortable luxury" best describes the decor of the operatories within Dr. Milios' cosmetic practice.
Click here to enlarge image

"Perhaps the best thing is how my staff and patients love their dental experience in this building. Patients are so much more comfortable, and the staff is much more invested in what they are doing. The windows and the finishes have all helped us to relax into the quality of what we have been doing all along. Our dentistry has not changed. We have been working on that for a long time. It is nice to see that our patients can now respond. They look around the office and feel confident with moving forward with the treatment that we know they want. That is simply the best part of doing a project like this.

"Take those first steps ... you don't have to jump in with both feet. Go to a design conference, seek out a builder, and investigate your financing options ... one step at a time."

Sounds like great advice to me!

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