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How to make the waiting room a better experience for the patients

Wednesday 28 March 2018 - fordoctor


Going to a healthcare provider’s office can be a stressful process. Whether it’s going to the dentist for a toothache or going to the doctor for an important diagnosis or to get test results back, the experience can be intense for many. And having to wait for long periods of time in the waiting room can only make the patient more anxious and uncomfortable.
Since the waiting room is the first contact that the patient has with their medical provider, it’s a good idea to bring energy and effort into making the waiting area more welcoming for the patient. This way, not only will the waiting time seem shorter, but the patient will have had a relaxing and hopefully even productive time while waiting for their appointment.
Additionally, this conveys a message of “we care about you.” to the patients even before they set foot in the actual healthcare provider’s office.
So here are our tips to make the waiting room a better experience for the g time seem shorter:patients and to make the waiting time seem shorter:

  • Make your space inviting:

There is nothing worse than having to sit for a long period of time in an uncomfortable and uninviting space. To make your waiting room more welcoming for your patients, make sure you have comfortable chairs or sofas, that the temperature is just right, and don’t hesitate to add plants and flowers to the room. If you have a receptionist or nurse greeting your patients, make sure they smile!

  • Give your patients things to do:

Entertaining your patients is a good way to make sure that the waiting time is passing by fast. However, please discard of any old magazines you may have on your tables. Instead, provide your patients with recent and interesting books and magazines, maybe a TV screen, or even provide free WIFI in the waiting area so that your patients can turn this otherwise wasted waiting time into a productive one.

  • Cater to their needs:

Since your patients will be spending quite some time in the waiting room, it is a good idea therefore to provide some snacks and refreshments. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top, just some water, some tea bags and maybe simple snacks such as a fruit basket.

  • Make it relaxing:

If your patients are calm and relaxed while they are waiting for you, their overall waiting experience will be perceived as better. This can be achieved with the help of some hacks and changes that you can add to your waiting room. For example, you can play classical music or nature sounds, use aromatherapy and essential oils; have touches of calming colors such as green or you can even display frames and pictures of cute babies and pets.

  • Say Hi in between patients:

If your waiting room is packed and you can hear your patients outside of your office, it can be a nice gesture to pop out and say hi in between patients. This will make those in the waiting room feel less neglected or forgotten about, and a smile along with little chat can go a long way.

  • Let your patients know what you want to tell them:

Instead of trying to subconsciously make the patients’ time in a waiting room more pleasant and less stressful, why don’t you tell them directly?  An honest, heartfelt message can go a long way. Whether you need to apologize for being late because of personal reasons or you just need to remind your patients to relax and be productive during waiting hours; you can tell them yourself. It can strengthen the bond between you, and they will appreciate the gesture.


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