The waiting room can be a medical clinic’s biggest concern. According to a report by Carolyn Schierhorn on the American Osteopathic Association site, the first impression of your clinic will either be positive or negative. The patient's visit is then tinted in a certain light, influencing their perception of the quality with which you treat them.
One argument made by Schierhorn for prioritizing the waiting room furniture and atmosphere looks to online reviews. You are less likely to see a patient discuss the diagnostic or therapeutic expertise of the doctor than the setting or the amount of time they had to wait. The reason these seemingly superfluous topics are so central to reviews is that they are elements of the visit that are immediately comprehensible. Simply put, the immediate impact of your waiting room will help determine the likelihood someone will feel good about the treatment they receive – and can influence their health (as when a calming atmosphere helps soothe a nervous patient).
How does your waiting room furniture speak for you?
Here are three ways a waiting room speaks for you, embodying and conveying the values of your practice:
1.) “This space is healthy.”
A waiting room should embody the values of a medical clinic, two key ones of which are health and safety. Cleanliness and order help patients feel safer, limiting any occurrences of anxiety. Beyond having the room spotless and organized, safety and health are conveyed through natural light, plants, a water cooler, new magazines, and high-quality medical furniture (unstained and untorn).
2.) “We are in harmony and do not clash.”
You want to create and solidify your brand through your atmosphere – which extends beyond your medical furniture to other elements of the interior design. The ideas you use here should simply be straightforward and coherent. You certainly do not want a lot of clashing in colors, for example (which would suggest a sense of disorder).
3.) “We are concerned about your experience.”
The waiting room is a broadened version of the welcome mat, essentially. It is the entrance to your clinic; as such, it should be calm, unintimidating, and focused on the comfort of those seated within it. You want to make sure that you have plenty of places for people to sit – so assess your options in medical furniture. It can help to have various types of chairs, noted an article on the Capson blog. Some should have armrests and others shouldn't; that way anyone who is pregnant, obese, or older will be able to find seating to suit their situation.
Furniture as a first step toward a great waiting room
Do you want the best possible waiting room experience for your patients? A key component of that effort is high-quality waiting room furniture.
At Beaux-Arts Group, we bring intelligent, comfortable healthcare furniture to medical environments. See our healthcare furniture.