If you run a small health practice, you may think that what happens in the exam room as well as the care you provide is the most important aspect of a patient’s visit. This is not always the case as the waiting room has been shown to impact overall satisfaction as well as the reception of the treatments given. It is therefore important that physicians put some thought into making their waiting rooms more comfortable for their clients and patients. Here are some tips that can help with this endeavor.
De-stress The Waiting Area
Waiting rooms are always stressful, especially for clients and patients who have serious symptoms and who do not understand them. Trying to incorporate a few things that help reduce stress and ease nervousness can improve patient experiences. If you provide a TV, ensure it is something interesting and not frightening or stressful like the news. If you have magazines or newspapers on the table, ensure they are stacked neatly and that they are recent issues.
Consider The Design
Although you may not have any interior design skills, there are still several design elements you can add to your waiting room to make it more comfortable. One of these is comfortable seating. Comfortable seating has been shown to improve client and patient comfort as well as help wait times seem shorter than they actually are. Also, some private health practices incorporate modular seating. This system includes different types of seating that are added to different areas of the practice. By customizing different waiting rooms to make them more comfortable for different types of patients, you will improve your waiting rooms immensely.
It is also a good idea to incorporate design elements that give patients privacy and protection, especially in the context of the current pandemic. You can use separate areas of the waiting room for privacy or room dividers to provide adequate patient and customer protection.
Make The Wait Productive
A lot of people prefer to check their mobile devices or read charts on the walls instead of staring at blank walls waiting for the physician to see them. You can help your clients and patients do something productive by providing relevant health-related materials so patients can learn while they wait. You can also provide free Wi-Fi and direct patients to health-related websites and materials so they are productive and their wait also becomes a learning opportunity.
Put Queue Management Measures in Place
A lot of healthcare practices and other businesses use a number system to manage queues. The main disadvantage of these systems is that people lose their place in line if they leave for a few minutes and their number is called out and then passed over. That system introduces unnecessary stress.
To improve this system, include wait time and queue order displays throughout the practice. These can be two or three displays placed strategically so patients can always keep an eye on them and know when their turn to see their physician is coming up.
Waiting at a doctor’s office is a stressful experience for a lot of people. This is why physicians should put measures in place to not only reduce this stress and ease anxiety but to also make their waiting rooms conducive for waiting.