The negative connotation about going to the doctor or dentist often stems from the waiting room experience. No one likes sitting in a waiting room for a long time unless you make the whole experience as patient-friendly as possible.
When your patient is waiting for their turn in your clinic, you want them to be comfortable and relaxed before they come in to see you. How are you going to achieve that, especially for those who have doctor or dentist anxiety?
Well, one of the best ways is to create a waiting room that is comfortable, relaxing, and patient-friendly. Here’s how:
1. Modernize your layout
In bigger states like Utah, getting medical office construction companies to update your practice is a necessity due to the rapid modernization of architecture and interior design. If your clinic still looks like something straight out of the 90s, it’s probably the best time for a makeover.
2. Invest in high-quality furniture
Say goodbye to old couches and hard plastic chairs; uncomfortable furniture only makes a doctor or dentist appointment worse. Invest in high-quality furniture that is both durable and comfortable instead. If you want to save money, try looking at clearance sales or furniture outlets in your city.
3. Incorporate homey decor
One of the things about traditional clinics is the fact that they look and feel sterile. For many people, this can spark anxiety about being at the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Luckily, you can combat these negative feelings by making your waiting room more homey with decors such as potted plants, art pieces, bookshelves, and other things that can make the patients feel like home.
4. Add entertainment
Another reason most patients hate the waiting room is the boredom that comes with it. So, make sure there is enough entertainment for everyone. Install a TV, get a stable WiFi connection, have some magazines and books on the coffee table, and have a little play area for kids.
5. Provide small freebies
A free cup of coffee or a piece of candy can improve anyone’s mood, so consider adding a small station for free goodies in your waiting room.
6. Have a retail area
Not only can a retail area provide an additional source of revenue, but it will also give patients something to do while waiting. Have a retail space with products that are related to your practice. For example, if you are a dentist, you can sell toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and other oral hygiene essentials in your little shopping section.
7. Inform patients of wait times
Most of the time, long wait times can’t be avoided. However, people are more patient if they know how long they will be waiting to set their expectations, unlike when waiting for seemingly forever for their turn.
8. Consider hiring a waiting room liaison
A waiting room liaison is one who greets patients as they come and guides them throughout their visit. However, if hiring a liaison is not an option, retraining your staff on customer service is a great alternative.
For many people, staying in the waiting room is the worst part of a doctor or dentist appointment. If you want your patients to think otherwise about your office, these tips should help you make the most comfortable and inviting waiting room in your practice and service area.