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Published On: Sat, Dec 15th, 2018

How to Set Up a Healthcare Reception Area for a Great Patient Experience

When outfitting and designing a healthcare facility, you need to evaluate and plan various items. Medical equipment essentials differ from one practice to another depending on the specialty or discipline involved. However, whether you are running a medical clinic or even a large area, it requires furniture for the reception area.

Often, it is a challenge to choose the furniture pieces, especially your reception desk. Patients will typically spend as much time in your office’s waiting area as with the healthcare professional. Therefore, you have to ensure the room is set up for success. Here are some tips on how you can make their waiting experience as pleasant as possible:

photo/ Darko Stojanovic

Create an incredible first impression.

As they say, first impressions always last so your primary goal for your reception is to deliver a fantastic experience to your clients. The staff should be courteous and ready to assist anyone who walks through the door. New clients usually have questions, and your team should have the answers to standard inquiries regarding billing, scheduling, insurance, and others.

Listen to feedback.

One of the critical factors that determine whether or not your healthcare facility will be a success relates to how your clients perceive the business. There is always room for growth, and you should be prepared to listen to their opinions. You can ask them to fill out surveys on paper or through email. The feedback can help in improving what you may be overlooking.

Set up an inviting space.

You have plenty of choices when designing your waiting area. Some factors, such as the amount of space available, dictate how you should arrange the room. Whether you have a small or spacious place, there are rules you need to stick to:

Seating: Sometimes, it is inevitable for patients to wait longer than they intend to. We recommend that you provide a seating area where everyone will stay comfortable. Include a few tables with some magazines where your clients can also set their things down in their line of sight.

Entertainment: Most small healthcare facilities now include a TV or a streaming service. If you plan to add a TV, make sure the content is suitable for everyone. Stay on the safe side with nature documentaries, educational videos, and sports channels for instance.

According to statistics, the average wait time nationwide is 21 minutes. Most health professionals aim to minimize how long their patients wait to increase their satisfaction with the service. However, it may not always work, especially when you have a busy clinic. While your clients wait, you can significantly enhance the overall experience if you have updated your furniture pieces and their layout.

Liberate Patients with Your Seating Options

Many waiting rooms look almost identical: rows of chairs, end tables with magazines, and a TV where people watch the national news. Unfortunately, these spaces are not comfortable at all. Instead of following the standard appearance of waiting rooms, we suggest that you offer the patients with a unique seating arrangement. Here are quick tips on how you can heighten the comfort of the persons waiting for their appointment:

Have some chairs grouped around a coffee table, which can be a quiet space for families or friends.

Designate a relaxing area for professionals.

If there are kids in the room, give them a child-friendly corner where they will remain entertained so they will not bother other patients.

Have movable seating, which provides individuals with a sense of control.

The arrangement should be inviting and comfy with the whole room’s minimal yet calming design.

How to Choose Your Reception Furniture

The style, color, and material of the furniture you use, such as the reception desk, should reflect the brand of your healthcare practice. For instance, practices that offer cutting-edge services and use high-tech equipment would typically choose modern furniture. On the other hand, holistic treatment facilities usually opt for natural materials and neutral colors.

When looking for the right desk and other furniture pieces for the waiting room, here are some considerations to bear in mind:

Aesthetics: As much as possible, choose an item with a relaxing color. Some hues can make the visitors uneasy, including bold and bright colors. When determining the aesthetics of the design, it often helps to have a specific theme, which adds a sense of cohesiveness.

Comfort: People do not enjoy waiting, but it gets worse when the furniture you have is uncomfortable. You do not want to make them feel they have been in the room for hours when it has just been a few minutes. Instead, provide comfy seats, which can boost their perception of the facility. Also, consider the height of the seats and whether or not to add armrests.

Durability: You want the waiting room to look great and feel comfortable. However, replacing furniture frequently is not ideal for your practice. Choose long-lasting options from our product catalog since all the items we offer have been tested and proven to be durable. Our high-quality furniture pieces can accommodate heavier individuals and even a bit of misuse, which can be beneficial if most of your clients have kids.

Ease of Cleaning: None of your patients would want to sit on a chair that has big stains on it. While you can choose untreated woven covers or plush fabrics, these options easily absorb liquids. Additionally, they retain stains that are difficult to remove. To help with the cleaning process, select a surface made of vinyl or one that is coated with stain-resistant material.

You have plenty of furniture pieces to think about, but your reception desk remains the focal point of the entire waiting room. This particular desk should be viewed and accessed quickly right from the time the patient enters. It should be clean, inviting, and organized – no papers, packages, and boxes scattered on the desk.

Some items, such as computers, phones, and scanners require additional space. You want the desk to have enough room for these necessities, so they do not look crowded. The finish should fit your décor, and the shape depends on the available space you have and your preference as well.

Author: Evelina Brown

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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