Of course, the ideal medical office waiting room is one in which patients spend very little time. But given the reality that patients' experience in your reception area goes a long way toward their impressions about your practice, consider the following ideas to make it more patient-friendly:
- Get rid of the flatscreen. In a recent entry for the Huffington Post, neurologist Richard C. Senelick MD, argued that televisions of any kind have no place in a doctor's waiting room. Among the reasons he recommends pulling the plug are the potential agenda promoted by advertising in typical 'educational programming' sold to physician offices, the difficulty in choosing content that is pleasing and appropriate for all audiences and the need to promote a peaceful environment for patients.
- Provide the right kind of toys. The best waiting-room toys include wall panels, activity tables and play cubes similar to those used in other places of business where children may get bored, writes educational toy store owner Marina Neiman. In addition, these units should contain multiple levels or stations, so children can play simultaneously, and be made of wood or other smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces.
- Just add water. Notice that the waiting room designs included in the portfolio of Medical Design International don't feature TVs or resemble a romper room. Rather, the spacious, serene areas bring in elements familiar to the practice's geographic location, such as aquariums and murals to reflect a local waterfront community.