A patient who spends time in a comfortable waiting room is more likely to develop a favorable impression of a practice, as well as have positive expectations about the medical treatment to follow. However, what exactly constitutes a comfortable waiting room? We’ve got the answer right here! Read on to learn 7 ways to turn any waiting room into a more pleasing, enjoyable environment for patients.
1. Create a Kids Corner
Bored children will often cry and complain. Unfortunately, this makes the waiting room not just unpleasant for their parents, but also for staff and other patients. However, you can minimise the likelihood of crying children by creating a kids corner in your waiting room and filling it with clean toys and books. Just remember to put it in a spot where parents will still be easily able to keep an eye on their children, while keeping it out of regular clinic traffic patterns.
2. Set Up a TV Screen
A television can be a great distraction for waiting patients. There are several Australian companies, including Medical Channel, which can provide a television for your practice free of charge. The content is specifically tailored for medical practice patients and is paid for by advertisers. So as not to disturb patients who don’t want to watch TV, keep the volume low or consider using closed captioning.
3. Let Patients Know Their Place in Queue
If you’ve ever sat in a waiting room and watched people arrive after you and then be called before you, you know how frustrating it can be to not know your place in line. Instead, we suggest you tell patients their place when they check in (“There are 2 patients ahead of you.”) so you can manage their expectations accordingly.
4. Install a Check-In Kiosk
To modernise your waiting room and free up congestion at the front desk, consider installing a touchscreen kiosk that allows patients to check-in and update their personal details on their own. HotDoc has a sleek, modern kiosk, which integrates seamlessly with Best Practice, Medical Director and Zedmed, and has a 3-point verification check accredited by RACGP.
You can find out more here.
5. Have a Stack of Current Magazines
To keep waiting patients occupied, keep a stack of magazines in the waiting room. Don’t forget to replace them regularly with current copies. Magazines that are many years old leave the impression that patient comfort isn’t a high priority at your practice. Additionally, make sure to throw magazines away if they become ripped or dirty. You want to keep your waiting room looking neat and professional.
6. Offer Patients Access to Your Wi-Fi
Naturally, we recommend you offer Wi-Fi access to patients, however, rather than making them hunt for the Wi-Fi password, display it prominently at the front desk. Not only will your patients appreciate the fact that the password is readily available, but your reception staff will love not having to continually answer the question, “Can you tell me what the Wi-Fi password is?”
7. Install a Water Cooler
A water cooler adds a nice touch to a waiting room. As with the other suggestions we’ve offered, it leaves patients with the impression that you care about their comfort. We recommend you install a water cooler and offer reasonably-sized cups alongside it, rather than those tiny cardboard ones. Additionally, put a trash bin right next to the cooler to cut down on plastic cups and debris cluttering the waiting room. Don’t forget to check the trash on a regular basis so it doesn’t begin to overflow.