Aside from your online presence and scheduling process, your waiting room is the first impression that patients get of your practice. The right waiting room can soothe patient fears and positively influence their perception of your office. Here are four simple ways to transform your waiting room into a place where impatience is a thing of the past.
The worst way to pass the time is staring at a clock without cell phone service. Your office should offer free Wi-Fi in the waiting area and consider installing a charging station or communal work area. Patients will appreciate the chance to productively pass the time.
One pediatric practice got creative with a zoo-themed waiting room that included a live webcam feed from their local zoo. Another practice serving middle-aged adults added iPads pre-loaded with digital magazines and newspapers into the lobby tethered to chairs for quick entertainment.
Switch Up Your Seating
Patients like feeling like they are in control, especially when they are in situations where numerous elements, like wait times and test results, are completely out of their control. One of the easiest ways to increase patient comfort is adding multiple seating options. A group of comfortable chairs around a coffee table, desk-style seating and traditional rows of chairs all appeal to different demographics, so it’s a great idea to select a mix of each style when designing your waiting room.
Add Little Luxuries
The most effective waiting rooms offer patients small extras to make their wait more comfortable. A simple coffee station or mini-fridge stocked with bottled water will give patients something to sip on while they wait. These amenities might seem like unnecessary extras, but patients notice the difference and will be more likely to return to your practice in the future.
Be Part of the Community
Coffee shops and parks are the hubs of many communities thanks to their message boards and information about local activities. However, doctors’ offices also play a vital role in every community. Add a community bulletin board in your waiting room with information about local outdoor activities, cooking classes, farmers markets and other activities promoting a healthy lifestyle. Patients will appreciate the ability to learn about new events, and you will have a comfortable, non-preachy way to encourage them to live a healthier lifestyle. Suggesting that patients eat more vegetables is fine, but giving them a flyer for a farmer’s market in their neighborhood next week takes recommendations to the next level.
Improve Your Patient Experience
With Next in Line, your practice will instantly fill canceled appointments and save the wasted hours, lost revenue and frustration you experience every day. Our technology can also automate your scheduling process so that when patients want to make an appointment, even if it’s after hours or your receptionist is busy, they can do so in an instant.