Whether it’s a date, job interview, grocery store, or clinic, first impressions last. Sadly, clinics have neglected style and appearance to the point that popular culture has made a stereotype of clinics as creepy, gloomy spaces. Such an ambiance does not help your patients recover. If you want your patients to feel comfortable and like they are able to heal in your space, you have to pay special attention to its appearance. You don’t have to be an interior designer or an architect to know how a clinic’s appearance influences a patient’s mood. Fortunately, you also don’t need to bust your budget to have a medical office that inspires healing and hope in patients. You just have to focus on four essential parts of your medical office. Let’s take a look.
1) Waiting rooms
Shabby waiting rooms add to the stress that patients feel in addition to the frustration that comes with a long waiting time. There are often too many seats and too little space to move and breathe. Certain areas offer an obstructed view of the reception desk, making it difficult for patients to know when it is their turn. Some offices blast too much cold air while some offices have inefficient air cooling systems during the summer. The waiting room can appear cluttered when surrounded by furniture and lit poorly. In some clinics, patients aren’t provided with anything to fight off their boredom. Persons with disabilities find it difficult to move from one place to another despite the space requirements that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compels medical offices to follow. While you may be unable to eliminate long waiting times, you can at least make the waiting experience worth your patients’ patience.
Another common problem in medical offices is the seats. Clinics usually line up rows of stiff chairs that prevent patients and their families from sitting together. They have to sit together to keep discussions of personal issues discreet among themselves while not disturbing other people in the waiting room. Sometimes, patients’ relatives have to stand by the walls just to be near the patient. This, in turn, contributes to a feeling of disorderliness among others.
Your clinic is not an auditorium that you can pack to the brim. So instead of arranging the seats into tightly-packed rows, you can organize your seats into circular clusters where patients with relatives can sit together in groups. This kind of arrangement entails you to get a combination of long seats and individual seats. You will only have to buy several seats instead of dozens of individual chairs, translating to savings in money and waiting room space.
Your stiff antiquated seats should also give way to more comfortable seats such as cushioned chairs. These chairs should also be height adjustable so that persons with disabilities can sit down and get up with ease. The patients should be able to see and hear the front desk officer when it’s their turn to see the doctor.
A clinic’s dim lights can make a waiting room feel gloomy and creepy. Dim lights make the waiting room feel cramped as well. Elderly patients may find it difficult to see under these lighting conditions. In a review of medical literature made by The Center for Health Design, researchers found that adequate illumination enabled patients and staff to carry out tasks. The same group also reported how staff and patients felt better when a clinic let natural light in through their windows. You can cut on electricity bills and improve your clinic’s ambiance if you undertake a renovation that allows more natural light into your medical office. If that’s not possible in the place where your clinic is, then you can install LED lights that offer brightness without raising your utility bills.
4) Decor and accessories
Far from commanding their respect and awe, displaying your diplomas in your medical office will only make you appear less approachable to your patients. While you may have good intentions when putting up posters that show how a smoker’s body looks like, gory medical posters can make your clinic appear more like a madman’s house than a healing center. Get rid of the diplomas and posters and get artwork, aquariums, or dish gardens instead. Outlets for electrical charging, newspapers, magazines, medical leaflets, television, and free water or coffee are some of the other things your medical office should have to make it more hospitable for visitors and patients alike.
Clinicube provides medical office space to chiropractors in NYC – get in touch today to see how we can help!