A patient’s experience in the waiting room can set the tone for how satisfied they are with their clinical experience. In fact, a research study published in the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) shows a strong negative correlation between long wait times and a patient’s “confidence in the care provider and perceived quality of care.”
While issues like long wait times may prove unavoidable, there are ways to make the wait more tolerable. It all starts with revamping your clinic’s waiting room.
Why waiting room design is so important
By and large, patients may feel anxious while waiting for their appointments to begin. Suppose your waiting room is cramped and doesn’t have a designated child or family area or technology to provide access to the patient information they need. This can exacerbate anxiety and negatively impact their patient experience.
Tailoring your clinic’s waiting room design to meet your patients’ needs can produce positive outcomes for them and your team.
Reduce patient anxiety
The aesthetic, layout, energy and opportunities for patient engagement are just some factors that can impact a patient’s waiting room experience. When it comes to your waiting room design, you’ll want to offer comfort that translates to a welcoming space for them.
Keep these ideas in mind to reduce their pre-appointment anxiety:
- Choose a warm wall color, such as cream, light sage or another warm and welcoming hue.
- Incorporate greenery. Plants can turn an otherwise cold clinical space into an inviting one.
- Offer comfortable seating that is well-spaced and values privacy.
- Incorporate entertainment and nature scenes or share wellness tips on your TVs to help patients keep their nerves at bay.
Create a more pleasant waiting room experience
Creating a welcoming clinical waiting room design involves more than choosing the right wall colors or seat cushions. It also means investing in the best ways to boost patient engagement.
To do this, you’ll need to consider all of the ways your patients and their families currently interact or could engage with your waiting room:
- Replace magazines and other resources with digital signage that displays relevant and targeted medical information.
- Research shows that replacing generic TV shows or other stress-inducing programs with “positive or kindness media” can improve the patient experience. Instead, play patient engagement videos.
Communicate the values of your practice through design
Which values does your practice stand by? No doubt, you’re family-oriented. Of course, your practice exudes an unwavering commitment to patient privacy, too.
You can communicate the values of your practice through your clinic waiting room design. Start with your primary patient demographic. Are they children and adolescents? Or, adults who must bring their children to their appointments?
If so, you can show your patients your investment in them and their families by:
- Delineating your waiting room to include a designated child area.
- Offering a diverse range of engaging hyperlocal and live stream content that will appeal to almost everyone in the waiting room.
- Creating a refreshment station, complete with chilled water, coffee and tea.
Enhance your waiting space with digital signage
Research studies show that, on average, patients spend 41 minutes waiting from the time they register to the time they see a clinician. While that is a long time, it’s also an opportunity to engage your patients and enhance their patient experience before they get called to the back.
Entertain and soothe anxious patients
Making various entertainment options available in your waiting room can help patients develop a positive mindset before their appointment. Rather than playing a local talk show or a stress-inducing news channel, you’ll want to offer a wide range of entertainment options to mirror your diverse patient population.
UPshow Health is an on-premise marketing cloud that can transform your waiting room's TVs and digital screens into an engaging educational and entertainment hub. From curated healthcare channel packs to over 500 entertainment channels, with live stream and hyperlocal options, your patients can select what they want to watch and when they want to watch it.
Not all patients will have the mental bandwidth to focus on a TV show, much less find it relaxing. Give your patients access to alternative, relaxation-inducing options:
- With over 50 music channels to choose from, UPshow Premium Audio allows you to stream music through your TV screens.
- Keep it simple and relaxing by playing nature sounds or displaying an underwater or rainforest scene on your screens.
- General or medical-related trivia may promote friendly competition and foster community among your patients.
Prioritize patient engagement and awareness
Natural lighting and entertainment options aside, your clinic waiting room design should prioritize patient engagement and awareness. Start by leveraging your waiting room screens to give patients access to health and wellness information, important updates and announcements about your practice and so much more.
These are just some of the ways UPshow Health can help you use your waiting room screens to fortify patient engagement:
- Display updated hours and contact information.
- Introduce new members of your clinical staff to the patient community.
- Showcase patient spotlights to build a sense of community.
- Minimize pressure on your team by displaying current wait times, so your patients have a sense of when it’s their turn.
- If you sell health and wellness products, let patients know how to access your storefront.
- Encourage feedback by displaying QR-code technology that your patients can scan to take a post-visit survey.
Effortlessly create stunning displays
You don’t need to be an expert in graphic design to create eye-catching, informative displays for your waiting room. UPshow’s in-app Canva integration gives you access to design templates and royalty-free stock photos, videos, and music to create customized and engaging displays.
With patients constantly coming in and going out, you’ll want to use fixed and multipanel displays to keep critical announcements on the screen while simultaneously engaging those patients who continue to wait.
With the help of accessible insights and analytics, you’ll be privy to what your patients are engaging with the most. These insights will allow you to optimize your screens to continue creating the targeted and engaging content they want.
UPshow can transform your clinic waiting room
A welcoming and engaging waiting room can turn an otherwise anxious experience into a pleasant one for your patients. And the best waiting room design for your clinic is anything but skin-deep.UPshow Health can transform your waiting room into a welcoming, anxiety-reducing space that engages your patients and their families. Sign-up for your custom demo and discover how UPshow can help you transform your waiting space.