Your retro-loving admin assistant, Veronica, might think patients love the Reader’s Digest magazines from 1996. But trust us, it’s purge time. Here are some tips to improve the waiting experience for your patients:
No one wants to sit on a hard piece of plastic for nearly a half hour waiting for anything, especially a doctor’s visit. That doesn’t mean you have to furnish your waiting area with the most expensive padded chairs, but a happy medium between comfort and affordability can make a huge difference. Need more motivation? The average patient spends 24 minutes in the waiting area versus 18 minutes with you.
Zap the “hospital smell”
The antiseptic that keeps doctor’s offices sterile has created the “hospital smell” stereotype. For some, the smell alone can instantly instill fear and discomfort. Consider an air freshener to disperse around the room. Avoid harsh scents that can irritate patients with allergies. Try lavender, as it’s a known de-stressor and provides several health benefits.
Update your walls to a more earthy color using a mix of blues and greens. Science says these tones provide a calm and comfortable environment. Throw in a natural de-stressor by grabbing a few pretty plants and placing them around the room. Your patients may be nervous about a possible diagnosis, so having these calming effects can only help them.
While fluorescent may be cheap and effective lighting, it can give off a bad vibe and even cause headaches. Seriously. There’s a WikiHow dedicated to managing migraines caused by fluorescent lighting. Letting in natural light gives patients more exposure to Vitamin A, and creates a more warm and positive environment. Studies show that taking in more natural light can make you more energized and alert through the day.
Updated reading materials
Patients don’t want to immerse themselves in all eye-care-related information. In fact, you waiting room is the perfect opportunity for them to read up on their guilty pleasure of celebrity gossip. Provide a variety of news, sports and entertainment publications to satisfy all of your patients’ tastes. Take advantage of subscription services that provide low cost package subscriptions for doctor’s offices.
A patient’s wait is just as important as the time they spend in the exam room. A positive experience can ensure happy patients and be the perfect word of mouth marketing strategy.