Patient experience is paramount to the operation of your practice. Not only do many patients require comfort from a physical standpoint but emotional as well. Anything you can do to ease your patients nerves will make your job and your employees jobs easier while increasing the likelihood of client retention. One key component to patient comfort is the addition of TVs to treatment rooms for patient entertainment. By providing a distraction you are offering your patients something familiar and closer to home rather than reminding them of "going to the doctor". One of the more popular posts on our site is "How to Set Up the Best Patient Entertainment Experience" which discusses everything that you need to make your patient experience a great one. In this article we will be diving into the nitty gritty of treatment room TV's from placement and size to mounting and installation.
Some key questions when considering TVs for your treatment rooms are:
When exploring a TV option, you would want to select a TV that is ideal for both the space in the room as well as the patient experience. Bigger isn't always better, TVs can block overhead lighting, and large TVs in a treatment room with a short ceiling can defeat the purpose (hard to view). Also consider distance to the Television: A larger TV further away may be more acceptable to the patient and staff than a smaller one, and viewing is different between a wall mounted Television and a Ceiling Mounted Television. It may seem like an elementary school craft project but we always recommend you cut out a cardboard representation of the TV sizes you are considering, tape them to the wall or ceiling and have a few friends or coworkers weigh in on how they look and how easy they are to view. Wall mounted TVs may block windows, present risk of injury, and impeded traffic so, get out your scissors and take a trip down memory lane.
TVs are great but on their own they don't do much. If you would like to share images from your 12 o'clock computer to your wall-mounted TV you will have to install wiring, if it doesn't already exist (HDMI cables run from the PC to the TV). If you are building from scratch this is a straightforward process (best done before the walls are buttoned up) whereas retrofits will require cutting into drywall and fishing line through the wall. Cable plates and brush plates will be your new best friend in either scenario if you'd like to keep a clean look. Remember, these can be hidden behind the TV to further aesthetic benefit. If you would like to offer your patient the option to watch something while sitting upright and seamlessly continuing that experience when they are supine you will also need a splitter to run from the wall TV to the ceiling (and another line run of HDMI). Many TVs have built-in apps but you may still wish to install a ROKU device or Apple TV. If this is the case you will need power at each location for the TV and the streaming device. Make sure you engage an electrician, DIY and electricity do not go hand in hand.
Second, determine your desired placement. Here is where your arts & crafts project comes in handy, take your cutout of the approximate size of the TV and tape it at various heights and angles, keep in mind the mount may make the TV protrude from the wall or ceiling, this is important to avoid dings to your equipment and to anyone utilizing the treatment room.
Once you have that rough placement planned, it's time to consider power. Hiding electrical outlets behind TVs will give your treatment room a clean look and provide safety for your TV and team, loose wires are nobody's friend. Preexisting power outlets can be moved but again, consult an electrician and be prepared to do some drywall repair.
Different mounts have different features to be considered based on your desired functionality. Ceiling mounts have different drop heights, tilt, and swivel options as well as some telescoping options. Wall mounts can be flush or telescoping and may also have tilt and swivel options. Once you have decided which features you would like and have selected the appropriate mount there are some things to take into consideration.
The general practice in mounting TVs is that the wall/ceiling must support a weight 4 times the combined weight of the mount and TV in question. This can mean the difference between happy clients or broken equipment! Always ensure that the wall/ceiling can handle that weight and make sure that the desired mount for the television can also support the weight of the TV. In most cases, the mounts can support more than the weight of the TV, but it's always best to make sure.
For Wall mounting desired mount location is important but may also depend on where the studs are in the wall. That said, most reputable mount suppliers offer mounts specifically designed for location variability based on standard stud distance. The best practice is to mark out the studs on the wall and then coordinate with the mounting brackets to make sure that they will secure well to the support beams. Please note, Drywall over Concrete or Brick make for generally poor mounting sites so special considerations must be taken which, a general contractor or qualified IT partner should be able to assist with.
Ceiling mounts are the same story, only the studs are in what are called Ceiling Joists. That is a fancy term for the support beams. Identifying the material of the ceiling and the layout of the Ceiling Joist is crucial to this process, as different materials will call for different tools being used, different attachments, and different mounting options. Drop ceilings require "backing" or a sturdy support attached to joists (typically thick plywood). As ceiling TVs hang over you and your patient, ensuring that there is adequate support is paramount.
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We understand that caring for your patients is your top priority. Dealing with a computer issue, slow IT response time or HIPAA compliance requirements just aren’t high on your list of to-do’s. That’s where Darkhorse Dental Tech comes in. Our team of Dental IT specialists are experts when it comes to running a great, secure and successful practice —and so much more. Whether you’re looking for IT services for startups, or existing support and security services for your practice, Darkhorse can do it all for you, so you can get back to your patients.
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