Office sound systems installation used to be simple:
- buy a radio
- put it in the lobby.
Today, your employees can live stream from their computers, play music off their tablets or smartphones and even send that music to bluetooth speakers to share with the office.
It gets complicated. And not because of the technology. That part’s easy for me.
Keep reading to find out how I’ve saved offices from burning down, protected patient privacy and made office life better for businesses in Fresno, Clovis and the valley.
But first, you’ve got to have a music service which handles all the royalties for you so you don’t get sued by ASCAP. I wrote about this in my article on building the perfect restaurant music system.
All that stuff applies to dentist, doctor, real estate or any professional offices where there’s public access.
It’s funny, but if your manager is sitting in their office listening to music, you don’t have to worry about royalties or rights.
Play the same thing in the bathroom that your patients and clients can use?
Uh oh. Better be paying for licensing.
The rule is that music needs licensing when it is “enhancing the experience” of a customer or member of the public. Yes, music enhances their restroom-visiting experience.
The good news is that there are really affordable services for this. We once saved a client thousands of dollars, basically paying for their entire new office sound systems. Call me at (559) 432-8600 and I can tell you what services we recommend.
Office Sound Systems to Protect Patient Privacy
Did you know that having music in your exam rooms helps you comply with HIPAA regulations?
Yeah, that was a surprise to me, too.
HIPAA is all about protecting patient privacy. If someone in the next room can hear you talking to the patient in another room, you’ve violated their HIPAA rights.
I’ve seen a couple of dental offices here in Fresno where all they have is dividers and you can hear everything going on in the rooms next to you. They might not be able to rebuild the office design, but sound systems could help them be more compliant.
We do office sound system installation in a lot of doctors’ and dentists’ offices and one of the most important features they want is individual volume control in each room.
I did an office system for a dermatologist who had 17 rooms! Every one of them with it’s own volume control.
Protecting Your Assets
I get a lot of business owners asking if they can’t just buy something off the shelf. I guess you can. but since no two offices are the same, you’ll end up jury-rigging something along the way.
For example, I set up a home sound system for a dentist and he asked me to come and take a look at his office sound system.
The were running off some kind of old home receiver. I don’t know how this thing was still working!
It should have fallen apart a long time ago. Actually, he’s lucky the whole thing hadn’t caught on fire. It was still working … somehow. But he had one control, one level of volume for every speaker throughout the practice.
They’d set the volume based on the lobby where they didn’t want it too loud. But then it’d be too quiet in the patient rooms.
Remember, they were running sound into a couple dozen rooms with a home audio/video receiver on speakers that weren’t designed to run 10 hours a day.
It’s not really about stuff wearing out or not being a good sound. It’s about your stuff just not working!
Most home stereo receivers are designed to run two or four speakers. So when you start adding more speakers to that, you just eventually overload the amplifier. And that’s when it catches on fire.
Okay, so these days almost all the amps have built-in protection against that. They just shut themselves off when they’re overloaded. But now your amp is shutting off all the time and you might as well not have music at all.
So for this dental office, we set them up on a legit commercial-grade amplifier. The speakers didn’t have to be “concert hall” good, but home-grade speakers just aren’t designed for the workload. You can go with lower-end commercial speakers if you want. Even the cheap ones that I can get have lifetime warranties, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them.
Like our project at the new Mad Duck in Fresno, we set up multiple channels for volume control. So now the lobby is now independent of the hallway and the back room. Each of the patient rooms have their own volume controls. The dentist can easily turn the volume up or down as he walks in or out of a room. Best of all, the receptionist can control it all from her desk.
For that dental office client, they’ve now got a system that is built for their needs and gives them great control.
The system is working out really well for them. And now they won’t catch on fire.
Okay, your stereo catching on fire probably isn’t your biggest in-office sound system problem. You’ve probably got old equipment, one volume control for everything or a system that doesn’t let you fine tune. Staff members are probably constantly having to mess with it. And customers and clients probably don’t hear what they should and do hear what they shouldn’t.
We’ve worked on a lot of dental offices, doctors offices and real estate offices here in Fresno, Clovis and further out into the valley.
Want to see hear what we can do for you? Give us a call at (559) 432-8600 and we can refer you to some of our favorite projects.