Tidy space, tidy mind – Adam Shaw

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  Posted by: Dental Design      6th June 2018

Ever heard the phrase tidy space, tidy mind? While it may just seem like another one of those annoying British sayings, there might actually be an element of truth behind it, studies suggest. As much as we love our home comforts and prized possessions, research indicates that clutter, mess and disorganisation can lead to stress and anxiety. In a report published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,[i]for instance, women who described their living spaces as ‘cluttered’ or full of ‘unfinished projects’ were found to be at higher risk of being depressed or fatigued. The same women were reported to have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.


Another study carried out by Princeton University found that clutter and untidiness can also make it more difficult to focus on a particular task, as the visual vortex can become overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects.[ii]No wonder, then, that space-saving solutions have become so popular in recent years. Go online today and you’ll find countless DIY design books, blogs and online advertisements detailing potential solutions that might help to maximise space. From smaller items like door tidies, under-the-stairs storage and shoe racks, to furniture that offers multiple functions – organising our personal space has never been so easy, but what about our work environments?


Organisation, tidiness and good use of space in the workplace is just as important for minimising anxiety and reducing stress. It also helps to boost productivity and save time which, as you know, is crucial to providing safe, effective, quality patient care and running a successful business. So, if you can make improvements to your practice that will help facilitate workflow, boost productivity and improve staff well-being, why not do so?


Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to implement space-saving solutions in the dental practice as it is at home, due to the guidelines and regulations that must be adhered to. Imagine the Care Quality Commission turning up to carry out an inspection and finding a door tidy in the surgery – there would be uproar! There are a couple of improvements that you could make, however, that would help to create a tidy and smooth-running work environment, without violating guidelines.


Go paperless: Paper requires storage, and storage requires space, so the less paper documents you have in your practice, the better. Naturally, you will already have records that will need to be kept for the recommended time until they can be discarded, but by going paperless at least they won’t be added to. The other added benefit, of course, is that instead of wasting time on a paper appointment book and filling in patient records by hand, you can focus your energy on offering excellent patient care. Digital files are also much easier to keep track of and share, not to mention that it’s much more professional and hygienic not to have paperwork sprawled out on your dental cabinetry.


Wall-mounted equipment: Nowhere is space more precious than in the dental surgery. A well-thought out floor plan and design can go a long way in maximising the floor space available and streamlining workflow, but there is another way. Opting for wall-mounted versions of equipment such as dental operating microscopes and digital imaging solutions, instead of freestanding models, is an ideal means of finding room you didn’t think you had, as they can be folded away when not in use. In turn, this helps to create a sense of tidiness and order which, if research is anything to go by, will ensure a more relaxed and productive environment.


Cabinetry: The other possible solution is cabinetry. Selecting specially made dental units with sufficient storage and intelligent design will always encourage better organisation and tidiness. Plus, storing all of your essential consumables and tools away aids compliance, is more professional and makes the surgery a lot less frightening for patients to be in. For optimal results, select a cabinet composition that best utilises the space of your surgery. Tavom cabinets available from RPA Dental come in a variety of sizes and layouts to suit all manner of practice shapes, and offer a complete storage solution with integrated sinks. Together, with their contemporary design and vibrant colours, Tavom cabinets can help lift the mood and reduce stress – an all round winner.


It’s been scientifically proven that clutter, mess and disorganisation can cause an imbalance to mental and emotional health. To optimise your efficiency and productivity, as well as reduce stress and anxiety for all, consider improvements that could be made to your practice. 


RPA Dental Equipment Ltd.

Visit us at www.rpadental.net

London and Manchester Sales and Service Centres call 08000 933 975


[i]Saxbe DE, Repetti R. No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2010; 36 (1): 71-81. Accessed online February 2018 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19934011

[ii]McMains S. Kastner S. Interactions of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in human visual cortex. J Neurosci. 2011; 31 (2): 587-97. Accessed online February 2018 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21228167

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