Learn about the importance of a patient-centered approach, and how these strategies can improve patient experience and boost your practice’s success.
As a healthcare provider, your waiting room is often the first interaction patients have with your practice. It’s important to create a welcoming environment that puts patients at ease, especially if they are feeling anxious about their health. Here are 10 effective strategies for transforming your waiting room into an asset:
Create a Comfortable Atmosphere: A comfortable waiting room can help patients relax and feel more at ease. Consider incorporating cozy seating, soft lighting, and calming decor. For example, the waiting room at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio features comfortable seating, plenty of natural light, and artwork that promotes a calming atmosphere.
Offer Entertainment: Providing patients with entertainment options such as magazines, TV, or free Wi-Fi can help reduce perceived wait times and keep them engaged while they wait. For example, the waiting room at the Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center in Kansas offers free Wi-Fi and a variety of magazines for patients to read.
Provide Educational Materials: Offering informative brochures, pamphlets, or posters on relevant health topics can help patients feel more informed and engaged in their own healthcare. For example, the waiting room at the Women’s Health Center in New York City offers educational materials on women’s health issues, such as breast cancer screening and prenatal care.
Utilize Technology: Consider implementing a patient portal or digital check-in system to streamline the check-in process and provide patients with access to their health information. For example, the waiting room at the Healthcare Partners Medical Group in California features a digital check-in system that allows patients to check in and update their health information using a tablet.
Display Patient Reviews: Displaying patient reviews and testimonials in the waiting room can help build trust and increase confidence in your practice. For example, the waiting room at the Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania features a video testimonial from a satisfied patient, highlighting the quality of care they received.
Use Waiting Time for Check-ins: Use the time patients spend waiting to their advantage by conducting check-ins or reviewing their medical history to improve efficiency and patient care. For example, the waiting room at the Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic in North Carolina allows patients to check in using a kiosk, reducing wait times and increasing efficiency.
Offer Refreshments: Providing patients with water, coffee, tea, or other refreshments can make the waiting room experience more pleasant and show that you care about their comfort. For example, the waiting room at the North Atlanta Dermatology & Skin Cancer Clinic in Georgia offers patients complimentary water, coffee, and tea.
Provide Charging Stations: With the prevalence of smartphones and other mobile devices, providing charging stations can be a useful amenity for patients to stay connected while they wait. For example, the waiting room at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center features charging stations for patients to use.
Implement Play Areas: For pediatric practices or family practices, creating a designated play area for children can help keep them entertained and reduce stress for parents. For example, the waiting room at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California features a play area with toys and games for children.
Use Scent: Scent can be a powerful tool for creating a positive atmosphere. Consider using diffusers or scented candles with calming scents like lavender or chamomile to create a more relaxing atmosphere. For example, the waiting room at the Radiology Center of Nevada uses diffusers with calming essential oils to create a soothing environment for patients.
By implementing these strategies, you can transform your waiting room into an asset that enhances the patient experience and boosts your practice’s success. But don’t just take our word for it – here are a few examples of practices that have successfully implemented these strategies:
By putting patients first and creating a patient-centered waiting room experience, you can set your practice apart and create a loyal patient base. With these 10 effective strategies, you can turn your waiting room into an asset that enhances patient experience and drives practice success.