1. Friendly and Welcoming Staff
We all know first impressions are everything; the first face your patients see is your front office staff. Encourage your staff to welcome your patients, engage in small conversation, and remember reoccurring patient names. A patient is more likely to feel comfortable if they feel familiar with the office and staff. The experience is not just about the doctor; a welcoming staff sets the tone for the visit and possible return visits.
2. Refreshments and Snacks
A warm cup of coffee, cold water, or a crisp soda can go a long way. Most appointments are scheduled all through the day and patient may be running around or just starting their day. A hungry or thirsty patient may become impatient. If a patient grabs a snack, warm coffee, or a cold drink to enjoy as they wait it helps them feel more comfortable. Get creative with your refreshments and snacks variety and display is key!
3. Furniture & Décor
Don’t let your office look like the inside of the hospital or emergency room, focus on making it look & feel more relaxing. Sometimes, the day doesn’t always go as planned, and wait times can increase. To help eliminate some irritation from the patient provide actual furniture that is comfortable and spacious. Nothing is worse than waiting an hour in a cramped doctor’s office on thin plastic or cheap metal chairs. Lighting a candle or hanging some artwork are great décor ideas to help fill an empty space and they look and smell great!
4. Entertainment & Reading Materials
Provide your patients with some ways to help pass the time. Reading material like magazines is perfect but be sure to provide current issues and variety even some for a spouse who might be with them. Some practices have television with popular daytime programs which is a good way to help entertain your patients. If your office is mainly pediatric, provide a separate space for children to sit or play with interactive toys, games, and put on a movie they can watch while they play. Remember; if you are a pediatric practice to still provide some reading material and space for the parents.
The wait room is a huge part of the patient experience. Having a friendly staff, refreshments, comfortable seating, relaxing décor, and materials to entertain them as they wait will help your patients get the best experience at your practice!