How You Can Improve Hospital Waiting Rooms for Patients

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Sitting in a waiting room for several hours at your local physical therapist or doctor’s office or hospital room is not the most ideal situation especially if you’re not feeling well.

If you’re looking at ways to improve the patient experience, a great idea would be to start with revamping your waiting room. Here are some of the ways you can improve waiting rooms for patients so that they can stay occupied.

Put out a Coffee/Tea Maker

Research suggests that patients are more concerned about how they spend their time waiting at the doctor's rather than the actual length of time spent waiting as they perceive it as an unproductive use of time. Never underestimate the ability to make yourself a warm cup of tea or coffee when in a stressful situation like the doctor's office, it'll give the patient something to focus on.

  • Implement a Registration Kiosk

Touch-based patient registration tablets offer self-service capabilities to hospitals, physician clinics, surgery centers, and standalone emergency clinics. It affords patients the convenience of pre-registering from any outside web portal, then checking in by using a tablet or iPad when they arrive for their appointments. It’s been said to reduce patient wait times by as much as 75%, substantially cut down on paperwork and help handle high patient volume without increasing staff.

  • Adjustable Seating

When it comes to seating, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not be comfortable for everyone. For example, older people or pregnant women may struggle with deep cushions that are difficult to get up from. Purchasing seating that is adjustable will help you cater to your patient’s individual needs.

  • Wi-Fi and Educational Health Material

Many patients have to take time out of their busy workdays to make their scheduled doctors’ appointments. Instead of a rack filled with out of date magazines, why not give patients the opportunity to be productive by completing emails and other work-related to-dos on your office’s wifi network? You can also direct them towards patient educational health materials on your website or social media networks.  Patients will appreciate you taking an extra interest in their health and being considerate of their work obligations.

  • Provide Free Charging Stations

Of course, if patients are using lots of data, even when connected to wi-fi their cell phone batteries can get drained quickly. To help patients avoid the added stress of seeing their phones steadily wear down, you can help by providing free charging stations around the waiting area.

Ultimately, waiting is merely a part of life. However, by adding a few simple extras to your waiting room you can help ease what is otherwise an often unpleasant experience.

andrew o'brien