The waiting room of a clinic should be a welcoming place, after all, the patient waiting there is about to enter a medical appointment. From the service provided by the receptionists to the environment itself, everything must be thought of in such a way that the patient feels good and wants to come back more often. In this way, following a manual of good practices within the clinic's reception can be the key to the success of your service.
It is always important to remember that the loyalty of a patient is linked to several factors, and good service is one of them. Your clinic can offer the best prices in town, have the best-decorated waiting room, and perform a series of exclusive procedures, but if the person in attendance does not feel welcomed in that environment, he may not return. So, check out some tips that we have separated for you below, so you can offer a good experience in your clinic's waiting room.
Before we continue, we need to know: Do you already know the system for health clinics Ninsaúde Apolo? The Ninsaúde Apolo medical software has an agile and complete agenda, personalized electronic medical records for each specialty, and with legal validity, teleconsultation, financial control, health insurance billing, and much more. Schedule a demo or try the Ninsaúde Apolo medical clinic system right now!
Ideal decor for a waiting room
It is at the reception that your first contact with the patient takes place, so this place plays an important role in the perception that he will have about your business. In addition, the look of the environment interferes with the physical and mental health of patients, therefore, it is necessary to set up a waiting room that is not only beautiful but also cozy and comfortable.
Colors and coatings
If your clinic's waiting room is small, you can use some tricks to make the environment feel spacious. This implies the use of lighter colors in the decoration and the absence of partitions. In general, neutral and cold colors are the most suitable to compose the background, but special care is needed so that the environment does not become monotonous. Mirrors can also help deliver the feeling of a larger room, especially when used as a wall covering.
As far as upholstery is concerned (more on that later), be sure to choose the right upholstery for them too. Remember that in the waiting room of a clinic, several people will pass by, and it is important to keep the whole environment always very clean. Sofas and armchairs with leather, synthetic, or velvet Easy Clean coverings are a good choice, as they will be easier to clean but without losing their elegance.
Good lighting in your clinic's waiting room is essential not only for patients to feel at ease, but also so that there is a harmonious work environment. When choosing the type of lighting, it's important to keep in mind what image you want to convey: a larger place that receives many people of different profiles during the day needs to be well-lit, as is the case in the waiting rooms of analysis laboratories or even physiotherapy clinics. In a clinic or office more focused on medical specialties such as gynecology, dermatology, and cardiology, among others, you can opt for colder, stronger, and more direct lighting, with well-distributed ceiling lamps.
When it comes to lighting, LED lights are always the best option. Although the cost is higher than the others, LED lights make up for the value because they last much longer, making your cost-benefit better. In addition, they have the power to make the environment much cozier, as they do not generate heat in patients who are waiting.
Armchairs and furniture in general
When choosing armchairs and other furniture for the waiting room, it is recommended that you pay attention not only to the color scheme that will be used but also to the material of these items. Colors don't need to repeat between objects to match, but there must be harmony between the tonalities. Judging by its functionality, the ideal is to use a large sofa, and you can also complement the space with armchairs. In addition, armchairs may be more comfortable for patients who prefer individual seats, but the sofa can be more interesting if we take into account the variation in people's weight, thus making a waiting room with greater accessibility. In this sense, one should also be aware of the number of patients treated per hour, so that no one is unable to wait seated.
Still, regarding the upholstery in your clinic's waiting room, it is necessary to observe not only its beauty but also its size, depth, and type of foam. The size, as mentioned before, should be thought of according to the number of people your clinic usually receives in the waiting room. Deeper sofas are great to have at home, but in the case of a more formal environment such as a clinic, the correct thing is to choose a seat with a maximum depth of 60cm, enabling people to maintain a good posture when sitting. As for the foam, there are several types of foam, and the right thing is to always choose the one that accommodates people comfortably, but without losing firmness.
Regarding the arrangement of furniture, there must be free space for the movement of patients and their companions. Also, choose pieces that match the clinic's concept and the rest of the decor. Furniture needs to be functional and practical, but no bigger than they need to be. A good option is to choose furniture with wood coating, as this material brings a feeling of warmth to the environment.
Comfort and distraction of waiting patients
When you're waiting for something or someone, it's always good to keep yourself busy so you don't get bored, right? In the waiting room of a clinic, patients tend to wait longer than they would like, many times because they arrive ahead of schedule, in other cases because the health professional delayed the service, among other reasons. Therefore, the waiting room must-have features and attractions that keep the patient not only entertained but also comfortable.
Cleaning and organization
Keeping the environment clean and organized brings a good feeling not only to the patients but also to the receptionists themselves, who will thus be carrying out their activities more willingly. Because it is a place that is linked to health and well-being, keeping the reception clean and organized becomes a must, therefore, in addition to cleaning (which must be done by a specialized person), remind your team to keep the place clear of papers, in addition to checking the availability of water, gel alcohol, and other essential items to accommodate your patients, such as paper towel, toilet paper and soap in the bathrooms.
Distractions for the patient
It is common in clinics and offices to have televisions and magazines at reception, which is still a good entertainment option, but in the digital age we live in, providing a Wi-Fi network for patient use is the best option. When configuring your provider's network, a tip is to enter the name of the clinic and the word "patients" or "clients", so that whoever is in the waiting room can find it easily. Another tip is to leave the Wi-Fi password fixed on a sign so that people don't have to ask the reception team all the time. In addition, the fact that the password is visible somewhere can encourage shy people to use the network without having to ask someone for this information.
If, in addition to the wi-fi network, you opt for TV, do not forget to activate subtitles or the Closed Caption function, which are tools that bring greater accessibility to the environment, enabling people with hearing impairments to understand the content being transmitted. But if, in addition to these options, you want to include ambient sound, make sure you choose a neutral playlist. On Youtube, there are lists of relaxing songs that fit perfectly with the reception of clinics, some even inspired by melodies from the 80s, called Synthwave 80s. It is important to remember that, as this is a clinic waiting room, the music should be at a low volume and you should choose something more relaxing and not too agitated.
Drinks and other treats
In any waiting room, it is essential to have fresh water, especially when the temperature is higher. In addition to water, which can be offered at room temperature or cold, it is important not to forget to always keep disposable cups available to patients, as well as an easily accessible trash can.
The famous little coffee is also an excellent drink option to leave in the waiting room, because even on the hottest days, it is still the preference of many people, but it is important to remember that coffee should not cancel out the existence of water. About coffee, it is also important to remember the issue of sweeteners or sugar, leaving it up to each one how to sweeten it or not, since many people have problems related to this and prefer coffee to natural.
Biscuits in general, cookies, candies, and other goodies can also be placed in the waiting room, after all, many people end up having their days so busy that they can't have a snack before attending the appointments. Therefore, this type of pleasure ends up improving the patient's experience at the reception.
Even if your specialty is not exclusively focused on child care, it is important to have an average of the age group you serve, so that you can consider the possibility of creating a kids' space. In addition, it may also be a good idea to reserve a corner in the waiting room so that the patients' children can have some distractions.
In the system for clinics Ninsaúde Apolo, it is possible to know the age range of the patients seen through a graph, where the percentage and exact number of patients in each age group are available. Analyzing this data, you will be able to better study the idea of having a space dedicated to children.
The kids' space must contain distractions so that the children can wait for the service, and just as in many offices there are magazines for adults, in the same proportion, it may include books and toys for children, a corner for coloring, and who knows, maybe even movies featuring children's characters.
System for clinics helps you in the reception of patients
Did you know that when using a management system for clinics, the service becomes more agile, and with that, the patient is happier with the service provided? The system for clinics Ninsaúde Apolo, for example, has some functionalities that can facilitate the patient's journey at the reception, and we'll give some examples below.
Completion of the registration form
With Ninsaúde Apolo you can send the patient's registration form by email a few days before the consultation, so he can fill it in at home, saving time at the front desk. This action is possible thanks to the existing e-mail marketing functionality in the system.
Another alternative would be for the patient to fill in the registration form at the reception, using a tablet, where for this, it is necessary to generate a QR Code on the reception screen. After filling in the data, the patient simply presses the "Send" button and everything he typed in the form is automatically entered into the clinic's system.
With Ninsaúde Apolo's call panel, you can insert a monitor or television in the clinic's reception, and without leaving the service room, the healthcare professional will be able to call the patient (an action that can also be performed by anyone at the reception desk). The name of the patient called and the name of the professional who is calling will appear on the panel, and if you prefer, you can add a personalized message, such as the room number or building floor, for example.
When calling a patient, the panel emits an audible warning along with a visual warning, it is also possible, between one call and another, for the panel to display personalized news or videos. In this sense, the call panel is also useful for the entertainment of patients who are in the waiting room. You can even use institutional videos from the clinic itself, giving people waiting at reception the opportunity to learn more about your company.
Displays on room entrances
In the Ninsaúde Apolo medical software, you can register the clinic's service rooms and use the display functionality, where, utilizing tablets fixed on the doors, the patient will be able to locate the room where he will have the appointment. This functionality can be useful if the secretaries are busy and cannot accompany the patients to the treatment room. Therefore, by joining the call panel with the display on the doors, you will have a more modern and automated clinic.
The display will always show the patients assisted in the last 60 minutes and future appointments within the next 20 minutes (if they have the On Hold status). In addition to the patients' names, it will contain the name of the room, a photo of the health professional (if he has inserted one in his system user registration), the professional's name, and his specialty.
So, did you like the tips? Keep following the blog for more content like this. Are you a healthcare professional but still don't use management software? Get to know the system for clinics Ninsaúde Apolo.
Written by Michele Martins
Translated by Karina Romão