Tag Archives: waiting room

How Interior Design can elevate your Waiting Room

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. 

Lighting

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.

Comfort

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

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.

The Science of Reducing Patient Wait Times

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement argues that the continuous problem of having long waiting periods at a medical practice comes down to a general distaste for the laws of economics in the world of medicine. Out of necessity, medical professionals privilege patients with urgent conditions. No one is arguing that this practice isn’t a required part of practicing good medicine. However, this practice exists to the exclusion of all others, allowing the flow of work to be disrupted and causing delays. How can you go about reducing patient wait times?

The IHI suggests that implementing other practices in addition to frontloading severe cases would help in managing the overall workflow. These practices all come down to understanding the balance of supply and demand. By understanding that there is no way to control external flow (i.e. how many patients fall ill or become injured on a daily basis), we can begin to re-focus on internal flow.

Managing Supply and Demand

One of the best ways to manage internal flow at the start of a new practice is to religiously record all incoming and outgoing patient times. Charting this information will provide you with the necessary data after just a few short weeks. This will help you to plan future staffing schedules. If you notice demand is particularly high during certain hours or days of the week, make sure you have extra staff on hand to keep up with reducing patient wait times.

In addition, do what you can to control internal flow. Only schedule office visits for time periods where demand is generally lower. This will help to prevent regularly scheduled office visits from resulting in long wait times due to a large number of walk-ins/emergency cases, keeping both your scheduled patients and unscheduled patients happier.

Streamlining Administrative Processes

Although taking supply and demand into account is key to reducing patient wait times, there are a lot of other ways you can streamline the process, including:

  • Online appointment scheduling
  • Online check-in
  • Patient data collection
  • Secure messaging to confirm appointments

If your practice successfully implements these tools, then your administrative staff will see a sizeable decrease in the volume of work expected of them in relation to patient flow. You could divide administrative duties based on direct and indirect patient customer service. However, if you effectively promote your online services on your website and in your practice, it will most likely be unnecessary.

Identifying Additional Delays

The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests doing what they call a “waste walk.” Essentially, the staff is asked to do a mock run-through of the patient experience to identify steps or points of waste that can be altered to allow the system to run more smoothly. For example, you may find that the 30-second walk to the very back of your practice to get initial measurements is actually creating a painful increase in your wait times throughout the day.

From these practices, it is clear that the organization of the practice is a major factor and definitely something you should discuss when looking at medical and dental office space with Boulevard Medical Properties. Consider how your equipment will fit into the office and how it will manipulate patient flow prior to deciding on a space.

Maintaining Results

Although you may do a “waste walk” and rigorously document supply and demand in the early days of your practice, remember that a medical office is an ever-changing entity. The needs of your patients and the required steps in their care will continue to evolve as medicine adapts to new problems and new research.

To continue adapting to your patients’ needs, you will need to continually collect data on the daily supply and demand of your practice, as it will surely change with time, requiring alterations to staffing and scheduling. In addition, if anything ever changes in your practice, either personnel or equipment, perform another “waste walk” to audit the process once again.

For more on reducing patient wait times and finding the right medical office lease for your needs, visit Boulevard Medical Properties today.

The Healing Power of Medical Office Art

You may know that art is a beautiful and beneficial addition to our culture, but did you know it can also be incredibly healing? Art has been utilized for therapy in a myriad of different ways, including art therapy through creation, and through experiencing it every day. Because of the healing powers that art can provide, medical offices have been eager to add art to not only their therapy programs, but also to their walls in order to promote a healthy and inspiring environment for all patients. Discover the healing power of medical office art with this informative look at the benefits from Boulevard Medical properties. Find out more about how you can find premium medical office space in Los Angeles with the help from Boulevard Medical Properties when you call our office today!

How to Use Art to Heal

It is interesting to think about the link between the internal healing of the body through the external benefits of art. It’s not an expected link when first approached, but the longer you think about it, the more it begins to make sense. Art, and artfully designed spaces, are very effective in sending positive thoughts and peaceful feelings to your brain. When you are in an environment that stimulates your brain, your body is more capable of healing, because it is inspired to recover. Traditionally, hospital walls and rooms are blank and white in order to promote a sterile and cohesive environment, but studies have shown that improving the aesthetic of hospital rooms and doctors’ offices are immensely beneficial to all patients who stay there or have appointments.

If you are operating a medical office, adding art to your entrance specifically can improve the mood and healing process for your patients. By adding art to your entryway, patients are not only more mentally stimulated by the artwork, they are also significantly calmer when thinking about the appointment they have scheduled. Going to see a doctor can be extremely nerve wracking for patients, and any effort that makes it a bit easier for them will benefit you as the physician as well. Your patients will be less nervous in the examination, and their minds will be more actively working to promote healing for any procedure that may follow. Improve your medical office space in Los Angeles today by adding beautiful works of art to your walls.

When patients are restricted to hospital rooms in order to recover, they can easily go stir crazy very quickly because of the blankness of the walls and the slow healing process. Studies have shown that improving the aesthetics of hospital rooms, especially the rooms that house patients for long periods of time, can immensely improve the outcome and mood for each patient. Whether you choose to brighten the walls with paint, or add different pieces of art to each room, enabling patients to get a mental stimulation from art is an effective way to give them a positive mindset while they heal.

Adding unexpected pieces of art can be another fantastic way to incorporate artful healing. Find art installations that are not only beautiful, but interactive, and add them to your medical office space in Los Angeles to brighten up any room. Your patients will love the way it looks, and they will enjoy interacting with the active engagement that each piece brings. Whatever way you choose to use art to promote healing in your medical space will be beneficial to all patients, whether they are long term, or just in for a checkup. Find the best medical office space in Los Angeles today when you call the experts at Boulevard Medical Properties now!

How Natural Light Affects an Office

We can all relate to the sick feeling of waiting at least 25 minutes to be seen by a medical provider in a windowless exam room under fluorescent lights. Living and working without natural light make the body short circuit – and this applies to doctors and staff members as well as their patients.

According to a Psychology Today article, a study titled, “Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life,” concluded that there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ sleep, activity and quality of life.

If you are looking for medical office space for lease in Los Angeles, make sure to put “lots of natural light” at the top of your list of priorities. For more questions about where to locate your practice, contact Boulevard Medical Properties today.

Sleep Disorders and other Dysfunctions

Of the subjects in the above-mentioned study, those who worked in offices without windows slept an average of 46 minutes less per night. They reported lower satisfaction with their quality of life, including a lack of vitality and physical problems such as pain and stiffness. This lead to all sorts of daytime dysfunction which the group who worked in spaces with windows – sources of natural light – were able to avoid.

“Day-shift office workers’ quality of life and sleep may be improved via emphasis on light exposure and lighting levels in current offices as well as in the design of future offices,” said study co-author Ivy Cheung, a Neuroscience doctoral candidate at Northwestern University.

If you have found a medical office space for lease that seems to not have enough windows, find out if you can have more installed.

The Circadian Rhythm

The so-called ‘body-clock’, aka the Circadian Rhythm, controls vital processes of the human biological system. During the day, bright, natural light from the sun sends our brains signals to stay alert and helps us function at our best levels. As the cycle moves towards nighttime, our need for sleep, restoration, and nourishment are reflected in the cooler color and lower intensity of the night light.

“Too much artificial light at the wrong time… can disrupt that rhythm and lead to health problems. This is important for everyone, but for hospital patients who are trying to heal, it’s an especially big deal,” says Deb Zawodny, a healthcare market development manager.

For patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, studies have shown that supporting a patient’s day/night cycle could reduce night wandering by as much as 50%. In a Danish study, supporting the cycle proved to slow the advance of the disease in dementia patients.

Daylight and Mood

An interesting development around our dependence on daylight emerged with the first diagnoses of SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder. The term was coined to describe the feelings of lethargy, sadness, and hopelessness people experience when they have the so-called “winter blues.” For a long time now, the “winter blues” have been thought to be caused by the short days and lack of cheery, bright sunlight during the grayer seasons. Also, People who are not exposed to sufficient sunlight during the day — then experiencing the fade into night — are not able to produce the hormone melatonin effectively. This aggravates their SAD.

Many people have speculated that as we spend more time indoors under artificial light, staring at computer and television screens, we may be encountering a new form of SAD, year-round.

In addition, according to Time Magazine’s article Why Sunlight is so Good for You, “The strongest support for the role of sunlight in health comes from its effect on serotonin: higher levels of serotonin correlate with better mood and feelings of satisfaction and calmness, and lower levels link to depression and anxiety.” It has been shown that people have higher serotonin levels on bright, sunny days than on cloudy ones, no matter how hot or cold the weather.

Cancer Risk

Less daylight means less melatonin, which may also mean cancer. Scientists have found that the lower levels of melatonin found in the daylight-deprived may also lead to lower levels of important chemicals the body uses to repair DNA. That could potentially lead to more cell mutations which trigger cancer.

Summary

The Center for Health Design study titled “Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings” summarizes the many benefits of prioritizing the availability of natural light when looking for medical office space for lease.

Light impacts human health and performance by enabling performance of visual tasks, controlling the body’s circadian system, affecting mood and perception, and by enabling critical chemical reactions in the body. Studies show that higher light levels are linked with better performance of complex visual tasks and light requirements increase with age. By controlling the body’s circadian system, light impacts outcomes in healthcare settings by reducing depression among patients, decreasing length of stay in hospitals, improving sleep and circadian rhythm, lessening agitation among dementia patients, easing pain… The presence of windows in the workplace and access to daylight have been linked with increased satisfaction with the work environment. Further, exposure to light is critical for vitamin D metabolism as well as melatonin and serotonin production in the human body. Light exposure also is used as a treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.

Medical Office Space for Lease

Boulevard Medical Properties is the only stop you need to make when shopping for medical office space for lease in Los Angeles. Get in touch with us to find the perfect medical and dental office space for you! Call at 818-882-5700 or Fill Out our Online Contact Form Today!

Streamlining Your Waiting Room

The average patient spends 121 minutes with you and your team every time they seek medical care; of that, only 20 minutes are spent with the physician. This estimate is based on time spent on travel, filling out paperwork, or communicating with other members of staff like nurses – but much of it is spent in the waiting room.

If you own a medical office space in Los Angeles, it is a good idea to streamline your waiting room for more efficient patient interaction. (Money magazine reports that the average cost spent for sitting in the waiting room while waiting for health services is $43 per patient.) What follows are some simple but effective ideas for simplifying and improving your waiting room.

For more information about successfully running a medical practice and to find the right medical office space in Los Angeles for yours, visit Boulevard Medical Properties today.

Collect Patient Information — Before the Visit!

Send all paperwork to the patient via email, snail mail, or mobile app (such as eVisit.) If the patient can send it back at least a day before their appointment, the attending physician can review it and familiarize themselves with the information prior to meeting. This saves time filling out paperwork and getting to know many patient details on the day of.

Explore ‘Telemedicine!’

Using HIPAA-compliant technology (such as eVisit) to see some of your patients virtually can save time and improve patient satisfaction. This can be especially true for patients who usually travel greater distances to see you at your medical office space in Los Angeles. Video consultations are rising in popularity because they offer the convenience and comfort of staying at home. Phone visits are also becoming more common, especially for people in more remote areas or others who don’t own computers or have internet service.

Have a System for Avoiding Bottlenecks!

Many times, a patient is either late for their appointment or simply fails to show, leaving empty spaces that could otherwise be filled with appointments or overly crowding other appointment windows.

Streamline your waiting room by creating a system to manage how often this happens in your office. For example, if a patient misses an appointment, they must pay a fee; if they are late, they must reschedule. You can also offer a grace period, so you don’t scare patients away. To hold patients accountable, make sure to gather their payment info and that they are aware of your policy when they make their appointment.

Create a Patient Survey!

If you are having a tough time identifying when bottlenecks occur at your medical office space in Los Angeles, how about creating a simple patient survey to help figure it out? Use the survey over several days and weeks so you can get the most accurate information available. Bonus: you will increase patient satisfaction just by showing them you value their time enough to survey them about it! This also increases patient compliance.

Questions on your survey might include:

● What time did you arrive in the waiting room?
● What time were you brought into the exam room?
● What time did the doctor enter the exam room?
● What time did you leave the office?

Try a Mobile Queue App!

Apps like QLess add patients to a virtual wait list, so they can check their spot in line without sitting around in your waiting room at your medical office space in Los Angeles. Using these apps, they can check their status and projected wait times. If your staff is running behind, your patient will be notified so they can adjust their schedule as-needed. Here are some of the Best Apps for Healthcare Professionals.

Medical Office Space in Los Angeles

Boulevard Medical Properties ensures your transition into your new medical office space in Los Angeles is as easy and smooth as possible. They provide a dedicated team of expert real estate professionals to guide you through the process from start to finish – and, they work with you through the term of your lease to make sure your practice flourishes in their community of medical specialists. Contact Boulevard Medical Properties today for an Appointment!

Balancing Form and Function in Your Medical Office

Your medical office needs to serve various purposes. First, it needs to be functional as that is where you treat your patients. Second, it needs to be a space where patients feel safe and cared for. If you satisfy both criteria, your patient base will be loyal, and referrals will come easy. But how do you know if you are providing the most balanced environment for your patients and your business? Read on to learn the tips to keep your medical office humming efficiently and productively.

For assistance finding the right medical office space in Los Angeles to help your practice thrive, get in touch with our experts at Boulevard Medical Properties to secure prime real estate in a competitive market.

Patient Perspective

The best way to see how your office is perceived is to look at it from your patient’s perspective. Come in through the waiting room and really look at your space. Check out the flooring or carpet, the furniture and the lighting; even take a deep breath and take in the smell. Is anything worn or off about the space right from the entrance?

Next, walk the halls and pay the same attention to the reception desk, exam rooms, storage and business areas. How easy is it to find what you need? How does it look from a patient’s point of view? Is it worn down or cold? Or is it inviting and soothing? Are your supplies where you need them? If you have already noticed things you want to change, then a redesign is probably in your near future.

Looking Good and Improving Efficiency

How you design your space can either impede or optimize practice flow. It really is possible to design a space that not only makes a positive impression on your patients but can also improve your efficiency. Putting patients at ease in potentially stressful situations and making sure they don’t wait unnecessarily is key. Make sure you are considering any bottlenecks that happen with the doctors and staff, so you can get creative and make sure your re-design addresses these issues.

Next, make sure your supplies are where you need them. As yourself, how many steps do I take to get what I need? Your supplies, equipment and staff should be easily accessible. Work out a realistic flow so you aren’t having to go to various locations to get what you need. Always take your staff and patients into account. For example, does your office staff have to walk across the office or into another room to make a copy of the patient’s insurance card? Why not make the investment and install a desktop copier right at the check-in counter? Think of how much time this would save as each patient is checked in.

You also need to consider whether you need a complete re-design or simply an update in some areas to achieve the efficiency and flow you are looking for. Sometimes, even slight changes can make a dramatic difference and don’t necessarily need to break your budget. And you might even conclude after a serious evaluation of your space, that you have outgrown your current space and may need to look at a new location.

Medical Office Space in Los Angeles

There is a lot to consider as you look at re-designing the office space for your medical office space in Los Angeles. And if you decide that more office space is needed, a smart piece of due diligence would be to contact Boulevard Medical Properties now and schedule a consultation. Our Boulevard team has the knowledge and expertise to point you in the right direction and get you into a space that works for your organization. The bottom line is that when you positively impact function and form, you benefit and so do your patients.