Creative Saint Patrick’s Day Office Ideas

In a medical office, it can feel like there’s never enough time to get everything done. Taking a couple hours out of the day just for fun may be impossible, so it may seem like celebrating holidays at the office would be impractical or a waste of time. However, celebrations can actually be very beneficial. They boost workplace morale, especially if you take the opportunity to make sure your staff knows that they’re appreciated, and you can celebrate without taking time out of your office’s busy schedule. With your lucky day right around the corner, let’s take a look at some fun Saint Patrick’s Day office ideas you can implement without cutting into time with patients.

Encourage Participation

Your Saint Patrick’s Day celebration won’t be very effective at improving morale if your employees don’t take part, let alone enjoy themselves, so find ways to encourage staff participation even before the holiday. Send out praise ecards to inform staff of the celebration and let them know how much you appreciate them. If you have a small staff, you could even write out cards for each staff member. Staff that feels appreciated will be more likely to take part.

In addition, you could instruct staff member ahead of time to wear green, and provide a prize for the employee who wears the most green or has the most creative outfit. Have inexpensive green beads or something similar on hand so that any staff members who forget or are otherwise unable to can still take part. You can also encourage employees to decorate their work spaces and, again, provide a prize for the best looking or most celebratory space. This not only creates a festive atmosphere and motivates staff to take part in the festivities, it also saves you time, money, and effort on decorating the office.

Finally, make your celebration meaningful by hosting a drive or collecting donations for a local cause. You can make this thematic by supporting an environmental, ‘green’ cause, or you can choose a local school, charity, or other organization. If you want, you could even inform patients of your drive or donation collection to get them involved, too.

Traditional Irish Fare

While for many people, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration defined by drinking, there are plenty of thematic foods and beverages that can be consumed other than alcohol. Having thematic food can be a great motivator for staff to get involved in festivities, and is a fun way to celebrate without having to take time away from patients. Staff can simply grab food on their breaks. You can either take this opportunity to treat your staff, or you can involve your staff by inviting them to bring in dishes for an office potluck. Among the most Irish of Saint Patrick’s Day office ideas, this one is sure to be the most popular.

You can simply provide staff favorites, or you can try traditional Irish and Irish-American food like bangers and mash (sausages and potatoes), soda bread, bacon (boiled ham) and cabbage, colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage), boxty (potato cake), shepherd’s pie, and potato bread. Thematic desserts can provide an extra festive touch to satisfy the sweet teeth on staff. If you really want to go the extra mile, you could provide a light or heavy breakfast for staff in the morning, including foods and drinks like green smoothies, green tea, soda or potato bread pastries, boiled bacon, sausages, or even hard boiled eggs dyed green (just make sure your dye is food safe).

Set the Scene

If you have staff decorate work spaces and host a festive lunch, you’re already halfway done with creating a fun, thematic atmosphere in your office on Saint Patrick’s Day. However, there are still a few more steps to complete the ambiance. Purchase decorations like streamers, banners, signs, balloons, and more cheaply at party or dollar stores, and pay special attention to the main lobby and break rooms to optimize the effect for both your patients and your guests. If you wish, you could provide patients with green beads to include them in your celebration, especially if your office often sees children.

Music without lyrics can be soothing for your patients and aid in the productivity of your staff, so why not add the finishing touch some ambiance to your office by playing some traditional instrumental Irish music. If you want to play something more subtle, celebratory, or hip, try music by Irish bands like The Pogues, The Cranberries, The Script, U2, Irish Rovers, Celtic Thunder, the Clancy Brothers and the Irish Tenors.

Schedule a Consultation

Regardless of your office space, these creative Saint Patrick’s Day office ideas are sure to bring the fun. However, if you are interested in changing spaces, regardless of the reason, Boulevard LA can help make it a positive experience for you, your staff, and your patients. Whether you’re starting your practice from scratch, are simply considering changing spaces, or have already started planning your move, the experts and Boulevard LA have the knowledge and expertise to make the whole process a breeze. Schedule your consultation today.

5 Medical Office Tips to Make Your Practice More Efficient

Running an effective and successful practice can be a struggle for even the highest skilled professionals in the medical field. Technology is constantly advancing and so many things in healthcare change frequently so professionals need to be attentive in order to run a medical practice smoothly and successfully. But even if you feel like you have mastered it, there is always room for improvement. Take a look at these 5 medical office tips to make your practice more efficient and see if you can apply them to your office.

1. Pay Attention to the Front Desk

The front desk is the first thing patients will see when they walk in. Whoever is managing the desk will be the patients first impression of the practice and ultimately a large decision in whether or not they will continue to go back to that office. Patient satisfaction is key and can tell you whether you need to change the dynamics of your staff or continue what is working. The person managing the front desk should be able to handle insurance verification and co-payments in a well-organized manner. It is important that the person who is at the front desk can multitask in order to keep the front running smoothly and timely. By having qualified staff at the front, patients will be satisfied and so will the rest of the staff and physicians because they will not have to pick up any slack.

2. Consider Online Tech Tools

There are so many options available for you to do procedures online instead of inside your office. You can look into many like the ones below:

  • Online appointment bookings
  • Lab and test results postings and notifications
  • Prescription renewal
  • Billing, insurance and registration information
  • Medical history information
  • Secure messaging as another form of communication

These are good options to consider because they could be a more efficient use of time and resources. Many medical practices are using online appointment bookings because they allow for staff to do other things than booking appointments. This tool also helps maintain a schedule which is very important for patients and physicians. They may be expensive but they will most likely increase your revenue in the future.

3. Take Full Advantage of Staff Productivity

You can do this by making sure you have the right number of staff in the right area. You can ensure tasks are being done in the appropriate amount of time by implementing time checks. Although they may seem micromanaging at first, they are a good way to guarantee efficiency and organization for the entire staff. Time checks can be used as another source of communication and organization.

Make sure responsibilities match the skill level of your employees. For example, nurses can be doing something more resourceful with their time than stocking closets or rooms with supplies. They can do something within their license rather than clerical work that another employee who gets paid less can do. Always be sure to reference the level of license in order to keep your practice running as smooth and effectively as possible.

Cross-training staff is always a great thing to do so you have multiple people trained in different areas. This is helpful when an employee calls out because instead of scrambling, another employee can simply step in and help out. Cross-training is not that difficult to accomplish, you just have your employees shadow other employees for a day or as long as it takes. Among medical office tips, this remains the most important.

4. Add Staff as Needed

Don’t be afraid to add staff if it is necessary. We have all been kept waiting many times at many different places but your doctor’s office is not a place you want to experience that. You do not want to keep patients waiting or be buried in paperwork throughout the day or at the end of it. By hiring staff, the physician is able to see more patients because the practice runs smoother and they have less paperwork to do. This will ensure the happiness of the employees and patients.

5. Keep Your Exam Room Organized

There are a lot of things from printer stands to filing cabinets that are crammed into medical offices. To keep the office running efficiently, you need to make sure that all the things in the office are arranged and organized. Identify any areas where storage is needed and make sure all items are clearly labeled and ready for physicians and staff to access for top operational efficiency. Maintain a simple layout for the exam room. Instead of wasting time by searching for things, you will be able to efficiently do your job.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering the space and operations for your medical practice can be challenging, with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations and accessibility law requirements. Moving medical properties can be a positive experience for you and your patients, provided you take the necessary steps to ensure all processes are executed smoothly. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you. Schedule an appointment here today.

Maintaining a Sanitary Office Environment

It can be very difficult to maintain a clean and hygienic work space especially with visitors and patients always walking in and out. Although a challenging task, it is extremely important to keep an office environment clean for the health of everyone who enters the space.

Wash Your Hands

One of the most important tips to keeping a sanitary space is to keep your hands clean. Germs are most commonly spread through touch. If you are not able to wash your hands frequently, make sure you are not rubbing your eyes or touching your face. By not touching your face, you are less likely to spread germs and get sick. Another good tip if you cannot wash your hands as much as you would like is to keep anti-bacterial hand sanitizers all over the office for employees and visitors to use. Especially while at work, your hands are in contact with many different surfaces, objects and people which can often carry germs. By washing your hands frequently, with anti-bacterial hand soap, you lower your risk of getting sick and spreading germs to different surfaces and people. Posting signs around the office and especially in the restroom are a good reminder for employees and patients. Washing your hands is one of the best ways you can avoid bacteria and illness.

Office Sanitation: Equipment and Supplies

We don’t really think about how often we use the things at our desk or in our office and we definitely do not think about sanitizing them. This is a huge problem because a good amount of the bacteria in an office can be found on our desks and right at our fingertips. Phones can harbor a large number of bacteria because our mouth is so close to it and it rarely gets cleaned after using it. Keyboards and mice are also a breeding ground from germs because they are being touched all day long. Coffee cups and reusable water bottles that are used in the office should be taken home regularly for a proper and thorough cleaning. Many people will leave cups at the office after rinsing them out but this increases bacteria because it is not being disinfected on a regular basis.

Then there are the more communal supplies like a fax machine that are even dirtier. Be sure to wipe down your desk with disinfectant at least once a week to maintain a healthy work space. An employee or multiple can be assigned to disinfecting shared supplies as well as counters, tables, doorknobs, chairs and other objects in the office. Cleaning protocols and checklists are also a smart idea to implement in order to ensure the cleanliness of the entire office.

Read Labels

Even if it is common for you to sanitize and clean with a product, are you sure you are using it correctly? Many people spray product and wipe it off the surface immediately after but this is not actually disinfecting the surface because the product isn’t given enough time to work. It is important to read the labels on cleaning supplies so they will work as effectively as possible. Many products will direct you to leave the solution on the surface for a certain amount of time so it can soak and kill the germs that are present.

There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. You want to make sure you are doing both but most importantly disinfecting a surface to prevent growth of bacteria and kill germs which are present. Many cleaning products are multipurpose and will do both to leave you a sanitized and healthy work space.

A general training in office sanitation is helpful so everyone is on the same page about the overall cleanliness of the work space. Many people may not be using cleaning supplies correctly and therefore leaving areas not properly disinfected. By giving everyone in the office space a better understanding of office sanitation standards, people are less likely to get sick and spread germs to each other or patients.

Clean Your Cleaning Tools

It is important to remember to disinfect your cleaning tools after you have used them. This will help to prevent cross contamination especially in areas like the restroom. These tools include mops, scouring pads, and brushes. The best time to clean them is when you are done with a room before you move on to the next.

With these tips, it will be easy to implement sanitation standards and practices to give your employees and patients a clean and healthy environment to keep coming back to.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering operational efficiency and management for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you. Schedule an appointment here today!

5 Ways to Be the Best Medical Office Manager

A medical office manager with efficient managerial skills is vital to any medical practice. The office manager is the engine that manages the practice’s data stream, business records, operational efficiency, and business development. To be the best medical office manager, you cannot be afraid to get your hands dirty. The more integrated and involved you are with the various roles and conditions in the practice, the more efficient you become in managing and identify opportunities of growth. To maximize efficiency and safety of your practice, we have compile 5 best practices to execute.

Manage Away from Your Desk

Don’t manage solely from your desk. When you walk through the office, navigate around to ensure that your staff and clinic is functioning properly. Interact and observe several times a day. Connect with the staff, physicians and patients to maintain a healthy practice environment. Stay informed by identifying where the gaps are and making sure that all things in the office are arranged for maximum efficiency and maximum safety. These managerial skills will help you better operate as an office manager and utilize your space to do your work.

Arrange Operations for Maximum Efficiency

There are a lot of things — from printer stands to filing cabinets — crammed into medical offices nowadays. To efficiently manage the office, you need to make sure that all the things in the office are arranged and organized. Identify any areas where storage is needed and make sure all items are clearly labeled and ready for physicians and staff to access for optimal operational efficiency.

Communicate with Courtesy

As an office manager, your responsibility lies in increasing functionality, efficiency and safety. Part of this role includes answering phone calls, emails, and returning messages. It is common courtesy, and it shouldn’t need to be reminded, but all too often, there are complaints from staff members that they field calls all day that the office manager hasn’t returned yet. Timely follow up, henceforth, streamlines communication and overall customer service and information transfer among staff, physicians and patients.

Review Representative Proposals

This is one of the most important managerial skills of an office manager. It is important to meet with representatives, listen and thoroughly review their proposal for your clinic with your physician(s). If you do not review the opportunities, you are doing a disservice to your clinic. There are many lost opportunities that are beneficial to patient care and your practice misses out on the prospect if your office manager is too busy.

One key role of an office manager is to find ways to increase revenue and help the physicians provide the best patient care possible. To do so, try to mark a single 30-minute slot on your calendar 3 to 5 times a week to meet with a representative. This practice will open prospective opportunities that would have been missed otherwise. It will also reduce the frequency of sales representatives driving you crazy, calling your office for follow ups.

Get Your Hands Dirty

The office manager should know how to perform every job in the office and do it with some degree of efficiency and expertise. If your practice is short staffed or overwhelmed with patients, your office manager should be able to jump in and provide almost seamless help through the transition. If there are tasks you aren’t trained on, ask your staff to train you — this will earn respect among your peers.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering operational efficiency and management for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.



Office Layout Ideas to Update Your Office for the New Year

Hiding the Wires

Nothing adds clutter more than wires between laptops and docking stations. Eliminating wires increases open space and organization within the workplace, especially in a room full of open desks. Manufacturers have developed solutions that are clean and simple to address this new trend.

Bringing the Outdoors In

Nature is having a serious moment in design. Reclaimed wood panel installations, exposed concrete flooring and incorporating natural floral patterns in fabrics and artwork are all becoming more prominent, along with plant life in the form of living walls. Mother Nature is strategically and deeply integrated with salvaged wood, water features, outdoor office extensions to demonstrate real, measurable benefits for human performance metrics such as productivity, emotional well-being, stress reduction, and learning. It’s the natural, healing properties that a lot of these finishes and details have that will continue to make this trend increasingly popular throughout the year.

Multipurpose Workplaces

Multipurpose spaces can be utilized for everything from multimedia presentations to casual break areas and are among the most effective office layout ideas. We will also see more oval-shaped office desks, which allow for a more convenient place for 4-6 people to meet, as well as a shift toward height adjustable tables for standing meetings or workstations.

Designated Lounge Areas

A move toward creating spaces that are the antithesis of rigid workstations are on the rise for office design trends in 2017. Lighter, powerful, wireless technology has inspired more comfort and relaxed collaboration. Offices now mandate the inclusion of dedicated lounge areas to make working more enjoyable.

Offices Organized by Color

Work environment with color helps boost your thoughts along with being more organized and colorful. Color promotes happiness, productivity, and creativity. Offices are integrating pops of color in unexpected ways and therefore striving to be at the forefront of offering a wide color spectrum of accessories and furniture.

Community Tables

People are looking for more interaction at work — lending a trend towards community tables. For centuries, the community table has been a meaningful symbol of kinship or alliance that is now becoming an important part of the work environment. It fosters and exhibits many of the characteristics of a domicile, more relaxed, more congenial and collaborative work place.

A Mix of Different Textures

An increased emphasis on using varied materials throughout the workplace to create environments that influence wellness and productivity is on the rise. Products with a rich material bring original and bold aesthetics with contrasting color and textures to create a more varied, inspiring and personalized work environment.

Mobile Offices

Mobility that lets workers drop in at the office as they please and mobility that lets workers move easily within the office itself are gaining importance in corporate design.

New Seating Options

Company meetings are ever-changing and challenging dynamics with new seating options. Imagine how different the conversations would go in a company meeting with one area of round, low seating. The challenge is to create a fresh and alive space at every turn while offering sanctuaries and think spaces away from one’s desk. More than ever, offices must inspire and invite employees to do their best by offering furniture that meets different work modes. You can look at the use of a large sofa or a smaller hobbit hole space such as enclaves with padded benches for lunch or telecommuters.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering space for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

The Best Layouts for Your Office Waiting Room

Physician appointments are commonly associated with discomfort and pain. Patients don’t like going to physicians in loom of discomforting news. To keep the fear at bay, physicians across practices have invested time in designing the heart of their medical practice: the waiting room.

The waiting room is the opening statement to a medical office. Patients often form their first impression of a medical practice in the waiting room or reception area. Stained furniture, old torn magazines, or a rude front-office receptionist can wreak havoc on how patients perceive the quality of their care.

The messages conveyed by a waiting can be subtle or direct. Everything from the arrangement of seating to the type and intensity of color and light has an impact on a patient’s mood and well-being. These simple office waiting room ideas can drastically improve the mood of your entire business.

Choose Colors and Tones Carefully

Because one of your main goals is to relieve patients’ feelings of tension or fear, lean towards colors that soothe, rather than those that excite. Create the ambiance of the space using color tones and contrasting textures. This could be in the furniture you choose as well as the colors of your walls and fixtures. If you are designing the waiting room, you may want to consider calming and soothing colors such as green or blue with a touch of pink for compassion. Blue illustrates honesty, loyalty and security while green is calming and soothing. Refrain from using yellow and red as they may cause anxiety and aggression.

Set the Mood with Lighting

Just as the décor sets the ambiance, so does the lighting. Adjusting the lighting in your waiting room can promote a relaxed mood. Soft, bright lights create a calming sensation that appeals to the patients. Low, warm light, on the other hand, creates a “homey” environment. Artificial lighting (i.e. fluorescent bulbs), however, can come off as harsh. Natural lighting can visually create a larger space. Out of all the office waiting room ideas for improvement, lighting is the most effective.

Pay Attention to Traffic Flow

Your waiting room space and design is the forefront of your medical office or clinic. To design a welcoming space, consider where your guests will be entering and exiting from, and make sure these areas coincide with the waiting room. Make sure décor and furniture design layout corresponds with the traffic flow. There is nothing worse than showing up for an appointment and having no idea where to go. The design of your waiting room should make sure the foot traffic flow is clearly marked.

Choose the Right Furniture

The most important part of your waiting room décor is the furniture. Not only is it the first thing your guests will see, it determines how comfortable they will feel in your space. Consider the styles, colors and fabric choices that will help support a branded look.

Measurements are key in selecting the furniture (including seating). Design your space to look professional and attractive while comfortably accommodating your visitors. To decide how much furniture, you will need, consider how many waiting room chairs would be used by your guests on the busiest day. Then select your waiting room chairs based on comfort, style and practicality. Once this is done, fill the space with tables — keeping in mind the traffic flow.

Finish with a Touch of Décor

Once you have decided on your furniture and colors, you will want to pick out some décor items that will help set the mood in your waiting room. Select things that people will remember and keep your clientele in mind. Tasteful art pieces or frame work, an aquarium full of exotic fish, or a relaxing water feature adds visual interest and it can help relax your patients before their appointments. The waiting room is also the perfect place to display information about your business and related magazines and books to help your visitors pass the time.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering space for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

Making Your Medical Office Wheelchair Accessible

Patients with mobility impairments often face challenges in visiting their medical office due to the physical barriers within medical buildings and offices, including the lack of ramps, grab bars, height-adjustable examination and imaging tables, and inadequate space within which to maneuver a wheelchair or to transfer to an examination table.

Waiting Room and Reception Room

Wheelchair accessible space should be available for wheelchair users to park while waiting for appointments at their medical office. Consider installing firm chairs with armrests to help those who have difficulty with switching from sitting to standing positions. Reception windows should be height appropriate for wheelchair users (approximately 34 to 40 inches from the ground) and incorporate a counter surface that allows wheelchair users to complete required forms.


Your medical office should include accessible washrooms and appropriate signs to indicate their location. Accessible washroom facilities need sufficient space for turning and transferring, grab bars, and emergency call bells. Sinks, mirrors, soap, and paper towel dispensers should all be at a wheelchair-accessible height.

Wheelchair Accessible Examination Room

Accessible examination rooms have features that enable patients with mobility disabilities to receive appropriate medical care. These features allow the patient to enter the examination room, move around in the room, and utilize the accessible equipment provided. The features that make this possible include:

  • An accessible route to and through the room
  • An entry door with adequate clear width, maneuvering clearance, and accessible hardware
  • Appropriate models and placement of accessible examination equipment
  • Adequate clear floor space inside the room for side transfers and lift equipment

All examination rooms must meet requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Accessible examination rooms may need additional floor space to accommodate transfers for certain equipment.

The number of examination rooms with accessible equipment largely depends on the size of the practice, the patient population, along with other factors.

Entry Doors

Under the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, an accessible doorway must have a minimum clear opening width of 32 inches when the door is opened to 90 degrees. Maneuvering clearances on either side of the door also must comply with the ADA Standards. The door hardware must not require tight twisting, pinching or grasping in order to use it. The hallway outside of the door and the space inside the door should be kept free of boxes, chairs or equipment so that they do not interfere with the maneuvering clearance or accessible route.

Clear Floor and Turning Space Inside Exam Room

In order for accessible equipment to be usable by an individual who uses a wheelchair or other mobility device, a clear pathway must be available for patient access. The exam table must have sufficient clear floor space next to it so that an individual using a wheelchair can approach the side of the table for transfer onto it. The minimum amount of space required is 30 inches by 48 inches. Clear floor space is needed along at least one side of an adjustable height examination table.

The room should also have enough turning space for an individual using a wheelchair to make a 180-degree turn, using a clear space of 60 inches in diameter or a 60-inch by 60-inch T-shaped space. Moveable chairs and other objects should be moved aside if necessary to provide additional space.

Accessible Medical Equipment

Availability of accessible medical equipment is an important part of providing accessible medical care. Accessible medical equipment includes:

  • Adjustable-height exam tables and chairs
  • Wheelchair-accessible scales
  • Adjustable-height radiologic equipment
  • Portable floor and overhead track lifts
  • Gurneys and stretchers.

The right solution for accessible medical care depends on existing equipment and space available for the examination room and storage of equipment, the size of the practice and staff, and the patient population. What is important is that an individual with a disability receives medical services equal to those received by a person without a disability.

For example, if a patient must lie down to be thoroughly examined, then a person with a disability must also be examined lying down This examination which requires specialized positioning must be accessible. To provide accessibility, the provider may need an adjustable height exam table. However, if the examination or procedure does not require that a person lie down, then using an exam table is not necessarily important to the quality of the medical care and the patient may remain seated.


Healing Art: How Artwork Stimulates and Helps Patients

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy utilizes art media, the creative process and the production of art to explore and open feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve mental health, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

The purpose of art therapy is to improve or restore a patient’s functions and his or her sense of personal well-being. Art therapy requires knowledge of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological and counseling theories and techniques.

Today art therapy is widely practiced in hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, schools, private practice, and other clinical and community settings.

Who Can Use Art Therapy?

Art therapy helps release bottled up emotions while giving new understanding and perspective to patients. For people living with cancer, art therapy offers a way of communicating and exploring difficult thoughts and feelings. It can stimulate positive feelings as well as shared experiences.

Art therapy may be helpful for people who feel uncomfortable with touch or talk therapies. It can also be helpful in supporting families and friends affected by the patient’s illness.  Although there is limited scientific evidence, many health professional utilize art therapy to:

  • Improve mental health by encouraging patients to express their emotions and help improve their relationships with other people.
  • Help patients adjust to a changing body image.
  • Encourage patients to be creative and self-confident
  • Help to control anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
  • Help take the patient’s mind off pain or discomfort

Art therapy is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, wellness, private practice and healthcare facilities. Art therapy is an effective treatment for patients who experience developmental, medical, educational and social or psychological impairment. Individuals who benefit from art therapy include patients of trauma, combat, adverse physical health conditions, and other health disabilities. Art therapy programs help patients resolve conflicts, improve interpersonal skills, manage problematic behaviors, reduce stress, and achieve personal insight.

Art therapy can benefit both children and adults. Even if you’re using creative arts as a means of expression without the aid of an art therapist, there are still many benefits to be had.

What Art Therapy Involves

While art therapy requires an art therapist, you can still achieve the benefits from art therapy without experience. Art therapy programs can take many forms, including:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture, collage, or 3-D work
  • iPads, smartphones and digital cameras

If an art therapist is required, he or she will ask several questions about the patient during the first visit. By understanding the patient’s particular needs, problems, and expectations, the therapist aid can help design a plan of therapy that is most effective for the patient.

Art therapy can take place in individual or group sessions. These can last up to 60 minutes for individual sessions or longer for groups. Depending on the setting, art therapy programs can take place regularly for a fixed number of weeks or months.

Art therapy doesn’t teach patients to draw or paint. Art therapist aid will encourage patients to use art to explore their feelings and develop their own confidence and self-awareness. With the support of professionally trained art therapists, art therapy is usually a very positive process in patient treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

Artwork designed or integrated in your medical practice can stimulate and help patients. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of moving, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you and your medical practice to success.


How to Identify and Manage Difficult Patients

Angry, defensive, frightened, or difficult patients. When you see signs of clenched fists, furrowed brows, wringing of the hands, and/or restricted breathing patterns, try to uncover the source of difficulty for the patient. Don’t get drawn into a conflict. Instead, identify the cause, recognize when the triggers are invoked, and respond to the situation patiently.

For example, a patient who is in pain and has been waiting for an hour because the physician is tending to an emergency may be quite impatient and angry in the waiting room. He or she may respond with, “My time is as valuable as yours. I don’t understand why I had to wait for so long.” Responding with a sincere apology can be more constructive than having your own meltdown.

If the patient is scared about a diagnosis or treatment, encourage the patient to talk about it. This may help to establish a context for the fear, allowing the patient to deal with it more constructively.

If at any point, however, an encounter with difficult patients yields potential harm to you or your staff, ask for assistance from security and law enforcement.

Manipulative Patients

Patients who play on the guilt of others, threatening rage, legal action or suicide often exhibits impulsive behavior directed at obtaining what they want. The key to managing encounters with manipulative patients is to be aware of your own emotions, attempt to understand the patient’s expectations (which may sometimes be reasonable despite their actions), and realize that sometimes you must say “no.”

Patients and Somatization

These patients experience a chronic course of multiple vague or exaggerated symptoms and often suffer from anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. Essentially, somatization is when a patient associates a psychiatric condition with a physical condition. So if they’re suffering from anxiety but aren’t aware of it, they may believe they’re suffering from a physical issue such as bodily shakes or heart issues (such as the comparable symptoms of a heart attack vs. an anxiety attack).

The key to manage encounters with patients who mistake potential psychiatric conditions with somatic symptoms is to describe the patient’s diagnosis with compassion, and to emphasize that regularly scheduled visits with a primary physician will help reduce any concerns.

Grieving Patients

Familiarity with the normal stages of grief and the cultural context in which it occurs is key to managing communication with grieving patients. Look for signs of depression and maladaptive behaviors that prevent progression through the normal grieving process, and treat them. Help grieving patients by validating their emotional experience and making sure they understand that grief is a process. Encourage open communication, avoid inappropriate medication to suppress emotions, and advise against major lifestyle changes in the early stages.

External Factors to Consider

Physicians own attitudes and behaviors, as well as situational factors, may also contribute to difficult encounters with patients.

  • Angry or defensive physicians are more likely to react negatively to patients. Recognizing your own trigger issues and knowing what personal baggage you bring into the exam room can be valuable.
  • Fatigued physicians are often overworked, sleep deprived, and/or generally busier than needed to be at one time or another. It is important that you remain sensitive to the impact of physician fatigue on medical errors and patient safety.
  • Language and literacy issues are increasingly an issue among a more diverse population. Try to allow for extra time for these encounters. Whenever possible, work with a trained interpreter to minimize miscommunication.
  • Breaking bad news. When it is necessary to give patients information that will be difficult for them to digest, preparation is critical. Allow adequate time and privacy, and review the clinical situation. Assess what the patient already understands or believes about the situation and how much more information he or she wants. Disclose the news directly, allowing adequate response time for the patient and others in the room to process the information. After giving the news, offer additional resources, agree on next steps, and summarize the discussion and arrange for follow-up.

Further Reading

New Year Resolutions for Bettering Your Practice

As 2016 rapidly comes to a close, many people are preparing their New Year resolutions. For the next month or so, gym memberships are going to be at an all time high as folks “turn over a new leaf in the New Year.”

Best of luck to all those who are partaking in this annual tradition, but what about medical practices that want to kickstart the New Year by bringing in new patients and increasing productivity? Well, for medical practices, there are a few key things you can do to make sure you have a more successful 2017.

Increasing Patient Engagement

One of the most important things for medical practices is getting patients to take an active role in their healthcare. Building a relationship with your patients is the best way to do that. Building such a relationship builds trust, and that trust leads to a much better level of patient care. This, of course, raises the question: How do we increase patient engagement?

Many physicians are finding that increasing patient interaction outside of the office is one of the best ways to get that all important engagement. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and even Instagram and Snapchat, can provide medical practices with the opportunity to interact with their patients outside of an office environment.

These interactions are a key method of building a rapport with your patients, and can separate your practice from others that are less available and visible to potential patients.

Implement Anonymous Surveys to Identify Problem Areas

If your patients have a problem, in a lot of cases you won’t hear about it until it’s too late. Implementing a brief, anonymous survey can help you get ahead of problems that could otherwise drive patients away. Often, patients won’t open up about issues like this: they’ll simply find a new practice if they think there’s a problem with their care.

A quick, anonymous survey as part of an office visit can help provide you with solid information on the general impressions your patients have. If they think wait times are too long, or they aren’t receiving enough physician attention, you can use metrics gained from these surveys to make changes that can help you address issues before they cause you to lose patients.

Of course, you can also use these metrics to see if a patient’s complaints stem from a problem you have in the office, or if you just have a problem patient. Either way, it’s nice to know for sure.

Improve Your Online Presence

This goes hand in hand with increasing customer engagement. Improving your online presence makes you more visible and more accessible to your patients, but it also lends an air of professionalism to your practice. These days, the first interaction your practice is likely to have with a potential new patient is going to be your website. This makes a good search ranking and SEO incredibly important, as it ensures you will be a potential client’s first choice, instead of their 50th.

Of course, ensuring that your potential patients can find you is only half the battle. The other half is keeping your customers on your site long enough to decide to make an appointment. If you have an older, outdated site, or just a poorly optimized one that takes an age to load, chances are it doesn’t matter what your search ranking looks like. It’s important to update your site every few years, both for your search potential, and to make sure you’re keeping up with the times and maintaining a professional online presence.

There are also more tangible benefits to a modern website. With an updated web presence, you can schedule appointments and communicate with customers with ease. In some cases, depending on your practice, you can even set up remote video conference office visits.

Virtual visits and consultations can free up time to see more patients, and cuts down on overhead. Granted, not every office visit can be replaced with a video call, nor should it, but replacing the less critical visits with video consults can leave more time for more serious issues.

Changing Office Space With Boulevard

If your practice is feeling cramped, or maybe you feel like downsizing, changing your physical location can be a godsend. Then again, maybe you’re looking to open a second office, or a third, or a 10th. Whatever your reason, if you need to get into a new medical office space, Boulevard Medical Properties is here. We can help get you into a new space that meets your needs, and it will be the perfect way to step into the New Year.