The people in your waiting are probably not going to be feeling great. Most of them are probably feeling very ill, or at the very least are expecting to hear some bad news. In any case, being in a medical waiting room is never a particularly great experience. In fact, it can be a downright stressful one. I don’t want to say it’s going to raise your patients’ blood pressure… but it probably doesn’t help!
There are plenty of ways you can improve the waiting room. Check these out!
You need to give patients a chance to distract themselves. And what’s a better distraction these days than browsing the Internet on your mobile phone? Of course, this becomes a lot easier when you have speedy, reliable Wi-Fi. Which is precisely what you should be getting for your waiting room! Have a new network that is used exclusively by the patients in the waiting room. This will make it easier for them to browse the Internet and use apps while they wait for the doctor.
Better reading material
A lot of reading material in waiting rooms is kinda cheap, low-quality, and out of date. Why not put a focus on getting some better reading material in there? You could look into getting some quality magazine subscriptions for the clinic. Perhaps letting patients read publications like The Economist or New Scientist would be better than making them read trashy local newspapers or gossip magazines!
A focus on comfort
So what’s the last thing an ill or anxious person needs to go through? Having to sit on uncomfortable or tiny chairs. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to experience way too many uncomfortable furniture situations in a waiting room! You should probably look at what new hospital furniture you can afford. You’ll be amazed at how much improvement you can see in a patient’s mood when the furniture they have to use is actually comfortable!
I’ve been in a few medical waiting rooms in my time where there were vending machines selling Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper – but absolutely no water dispenser. This is an extremely strange thing to see in a healthcare facility, I have to say! You should have some kind of water dispenser in the waiting room for those who get thirsty while they wait. And no, don’t get a water fountain – a medical waiting room is probably the last place in which people want to share a water fountain!
A better queueing system
One of the worst things about the waiting room is never knowing quite how long you’re actually going to have to be in there! A lot of clinics just tell a patient to sit down and wait until they’re called. Even when they have an appointment, they often have to wait till well past their given time. Others may have a ‘take a number’ system, which is certainly an improvement. It might be best if you have some sort of system that allows patients to see the estimated wait length for their chosen doctor.