Growth During the Pandemic

Posted in Case Study, Medical Construction.

2020 was a difficult year for most Americans and introduced phrases that we would have loved to have avoided. Masking and social distancing are the norm for now and have made it necessary for many businesses to modify the way in which they operate. For others, the pandemic simply proved to be the impetus to take a leap that had been coming for quite some time.

LOA Orthodontics was one such company. Entering their 100th year in operation, LOA was one of the first orthodontic practices in Pennsylvania. Over the years, they have grown and now operate offices in four locations in the Central PA region.  LOA is very active and recognized in the community, partnering with non-profits including Girls on the Run Lancaster, the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic, the Junior League of Lancaster and many more. 

Bigger Space, Safer Experience

LOA entered 2020 with an office on Main Street in Lititz, PA where they had been operating for the last 25 years. After that amount of time, the office was a familiar fixture in the community. When it had to be closed down in March due to COVID-19, the team realized that now was the time to undertake the next step of expanding the office. The combination of the success and growth of the practice along with the necessities of social distancing and other community health practices brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that it was time to relocate the office to a space better suited to support social distancing needs and to position the office for continued growth.

LOA turned to the team at Real Services to help them with the complete journey to a new practice. From site selection, through design and the final build out, the team at Real Services provided LOA with expert guidance to help them build a practice to carry them into the future.

Real Services helped LOA locate the right property for the expanded office. The new office needed to remain conveniently located to continue to support existing patients while also being large enough to accommodate a doubling of patients in the coming years. Real Services identified two side-by-side spaces that if connected would provide the square footage and location characteristics LOA was looking for. Located approximately ten minutes away from the original Lititz office, the new space is part of a larger complex on a major road, with ample parking and good visibility from the street. Real Services worked with the building ownership to renovate the building exterior to feature a stone facade, maintaining the style established in the other practice locations while also fitting in with the aesthetics of the complex.

Supporting Brand Identity

LOA has strong brand identity in the community, so it was important that the new office adhered to the visual branding that clients and the market were familiar with. The new office needed to remain consistent with the aesthetic of the other three office locations, while also implementing some new design elements to improve patient experience and allow for safe operation during Covid.

When patients enter, they are greeted by an open plan reception area featuring a curved-front reception desk. Commercial-grade carpet tiles in varying shades define the spaces within the reception area, support the brand palette, and provide visual interest. The space is currently set to support the social distancing guidelines in place to mitigate community spread, but will be able to accommodate the practice’s growing number of patients. A second waiting area is separated by frosted glass dividers which provide some privacy while also allowing the natural light to carry through the space. LOA’s bold color palette adorns accent walls, bringing personality to the space while still maintaining a unified and calm environment.

Consultation rooms show off the brand colors and provide a more private space for patient discussions and education. These rooms feature built-in bench seating for parents that doubles as storage, making the most of every inch of space in the practice. LOAs IT team was involved from the beginning of the process, working with Real Services to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure was in place to support the computer and network services needed to run the practice efficiently.



Secluded, But Not Shut In

The new office needed to be able to support social distancing and isolation practices while also expanding the number of treatment chairs available. The new treatment area does just that. The six patient operatories are separated from each other with full-height walls, allowing for privacy and minimizing the likelihood of community spread of illnesses. While the walls stretch to the ceiling, the top portion of each wall is glass to allow for maximum spread of the natural light that floods in through the front windows.

A full office HEPA air filtering system was installed to increase health and safety measures. Each bay is also equipped with its own automatic hand sanitizer dispenser to help maintain a healthy environment.

Cool gray walls are offset by the warm wood tones of laminate floors. This flooring is the perfect choice for this setting as it is durable, easy to care for and easier on the feet and legs of staff members who stand and work on it throughout the day. Acoustic ceiling tiles in the operatory area provide important sound-dampening in the large open space that could otherwise turn into a uncomfortably noisy environment. These spaces also feature built-in seating with storage.

A Masterwork in Efficiency

This 2,000 sq. ft. office makes the most of all available spaces, with the design balancing an overall open feel with frosted glass panels that provide enough privacy that patients won’t feel exposed. The office also includes a panoramic x-ray room, patient bathrooms, a kitchenette for staff, lab and materials storage, a brushing sink, and a special nook set aside for patient photos. All told, Real Services has helped LOA create a highly efficient space that will allow LOA to grow for many years into the future.



LOA chose to work with Real Services based on their positive track record of success in the dental and orthodontics office spaces, according to Dr. Manny Lamichane.  “They kept everything on-time and on-budget and were a real pleasure to work with,” said Dr. Manny. “Whenever we wanted to meet, they were happy to fit us in. And they offered suggestions throughout the process that enhanced the original floorplan and improved patient flow. We were so pleased with how the project went we will be working with them again to update our Fruitville Pike location as well.”