Updating Your Waiting Room Decor
19 Nov 2012
Creating A Comfortable Environment
As a medical professional, it is important to make your patients feel as comfortable as possible. This should be true from the moment they step into the office until the moment they leave. Realistically, many time patients spend more time sitting in the waiting room than with their actual doctor, and yet many reception areas are dreary and unwelcoming. Having the right waiting room décor is a good investment for your practice because it will keep your patients feeling more relaxed and more willing to come back for another visit.
Does your waiting room need to be updated?
Here are some décor ideas to give it a more welcoming feel. Before you start drawing up design plans, take a seat in your own waiting room. I’m willing to bet that most doctors rarely spend any time in their reception areas. What is your first impression? Many patients make complaints about the crowded rows of chairs, the bare white walls, and the year-old tattered magazines.
All of these details can leave your patients will a less than positive experience in your office. Since the waiting room is literally the first impression that people get of your office, it should be a pleasant one. Studies show that patients do care about the medical office environment, and that a welcoming waiting room can make all the difference in how they perceive your practice. While it may sound superficial, patients are expecting more than just high-quality medical care. In today’s image-driven marketplace, patients are more likely than in the past to judge a physician’s abilities by the look of the waiting room. Dirty carpeting, worn seating, and battered magazines can suggest that doctors are not putting enough effort into their work.
The negative perceptions
These can harshly undermine a patient’s trust. Since doctor visits are stressful for many patients, décor matters more in medical offices than in most other types of commercial space. Creating a comfortable environment means not only adding artwork, but also focusing on furnishings, lighting, seating arrangements, and reading material. Residential furniture and softer lighter set a more relaxing ambience. Peaceful nature references, such as a fish tank, plants or landscape paintings, are also preferred by consumers.
When decorating your waiting area
It’s a good idea to mimic what patients might find at home. A sterile atmosphere can create unease among patients. Instead, select a professional, warm style that won’t become outdated. Instead of having rows of chairs, arrange a mix of love seats, chairs, and tables in small groupings around the room. In terms of colors, use neutral tones in your reception room’s overall design scheme. Choose low-key patterns for the flooring and furnishings, as these will blend well and hide signs of aging.
The most relaxing colors are generally shades of green and blue. Recent studies show that when exposed to green colored paper or placed in a green room, a person’s heart rate drops, blood pressure lowers, and muscles relax, while hot colors like red causes these values to rise. Incorporating blues and greens into your overall design can help create a more calming atmosphere.