For many medical professionals setting up a new practice, your waiting room décor is probably not the first thing on your mind. But, recent research shows that evidence-based design is an essential factor in patient satisfaction. And, it is causing the field to grow exponentially in the last few years.
Your waiting room, more than any other space, is the first impression your patients get of your practice. This means that your waiting room isn’t just their first impression. It is the foundation of their entire experience, allowing for the easy transfer of their initial reaction to all other levels of experience during their visit.
What Factors Matter Most for Waiting Room Décor?
Based on existing research, we know that there are three key factors that most impact patient satisfaction concerning your interior design: lighting, comfort, and privacy. The latter may appear difficult in a common room setting, but there are some neat tips and tricks to help make your waiting room feel more private.
The first thing you have to do to create a positive experience in your waiting room is scrap the harsh florescent lighting. You may want to use fluorescent lights in key spots, such as near the reception desk. If you do, make sure you use warmer lighting near patient seating to provide a more comfortable feel.
Your new lighting gradient will naturally guide your patients towards points of contact and important information. It will also offer them cozy spots that feel just like home.
In addition to installing various light sources, one source suggests using mirrors in a classic trompe-l’œil. This just means in a way to make your waiting room appear larger. When placed strategically, mirrors maximize your use of light and help you to create designated spaces for the different communities you serve within your waiting room.
There are a lot of cheap options for waiting room furniture. Unfortunately, an uncomfortable patient is much more likely to become an unhappy patient. Show your clients that you care by investing in furniture that provides adequate support and cushioning.
Additionally, opt for chairs that have arms. Not only will they help disabled patients to get to their feet, but they denote a sense of personal space that is more difficult to achieve in other models.
While you’re thinking about patient comfort, take a moment to critically analyze the style of the décor you are using. If it isn’t something you would consider putting in your home and it isn’t necessary to your practice, then scrap it. Your waiting room should be a reflection of you, your practice, and your dedication to your patients. So, let your waiting room reflect that by choosing décor options that make it feel like home.
Privacy is difficult to achieve in a waiting room setting for obvious reasons. Fortunately, by using a couple of key design tricks, you can functionally separate your waiting room into separate zones for a more intimate feeling. By addressing positioning and adding a few extra elements, you can make your community feel like there is a space for everyone.
The first step to creating the illusion of privacy is positioning. Avoid having all seating facing the same way. Try your best to make sure each zone is facing away from the next one. You can also use coffee tables and indoor plants to give each area its own zone. Use these and patient seating to create a 90-degree angle or one half of a square to indicate a separation between that zone and the next.
The idea is to create tiny islands that members of your community can flock to for a sense of privacy. You can also use rugs and mirrors to further tie each space together. Ideally, your décor and paint color will gradually shift to reflect the portion of the community you hope to attract to each zone. You can reinforce the targeted audience of each area by providing different magazines, toys, etc. at each of them.
The Modern Waiting Room
Regardless of your personal aesthetic, you want to give your patients a positive experience. Familiarity and security are vital to achieving this. When you’re looking at potential sites with Boulevard Medical Properties, keep this in mind as you’re evaluating each space. Pay attention to corners and half walls that could help you maximize the privacy of each zone. Lastly, don’t forget that your waiting room décor is a reflection of you and your practice.