Medical Waiting Room TV: What Are You Telling Your Patients?

With the decreasing costs of television screens, medical offices across the nation are installing more and more of them. Practices put TVs in both waiting areas and treatment rooms to help patients pass the time as they wait. But what exactly are these TVs doing for the practices that are hosting them? And as a practice owner, manager, or administrator, have you taken careful consideration in choosing what to display on them?

It’s an unfortunate reality that most medical offices have put very little thought into the programming on their screens. One of the most common reasons for having a TV is to help patients relax and pass the time. But certain types of content can do quite the opposite: creating an anxious environment, and making time feel like it’s moving slower.

Cable TV and Medical Networks

A large number of waiting room televisions are simply tuned to local cable stations and broadcast channels.  These show hourly round-ups of mundane, recirculated news, unpleasant accidents, or useless stories, soap operas, daytime courtroom battles and semi-offensive talk shows. But other options that seem intelligent on the surface can have an even worse affect. There are a host of medical-related TV products that bombard patients with irrelevant health content.  These are paid for by ad services designed to subliminally sell their products to your patients.

Either of these scenarios can present real problems for your practice. What started as an idea to make your waiting room a more inviting and comfortable space can actually backfire if you haven’t paid attention to what’s playing.

Taking Control with a Custom TV System

As a practice manager it’s important to be aware, and in control of what’s on your televisions.  This sounds like a tall order, but with new solutions just released on the market, it is becoming easy.   You can quickly control not only the programming, but also add some messaging to help the practice itself.

One such service is called It’s Relevant TV.  The subscription service allows you to choose from a catalog of 50 topic areas, including stories gathered by well known producers like National Geographic, Food Channel, Minute Science, HowCast, and Medical Minute, allowing you to decide what your patients see while they wait to see you. You can mix things like national news, sports and celebrity interviews, with cooking shows, pets and travel videos.  A team of editors filters all of the content, assuring that each episode is family-friendly and office appropriate.

Medical Waiting Room TV - Doctors Express Television

Michele Mirabel, community engagement director at Doctors Express Urgent Care said, “We have compared different opportunities of what we were going to provide in our waiting room. We chose It’s Relevant [TV] because it gave us diversity in the content that was being played. If it was just continuous medical coverage from pharmaceutical groups and on how to treat different ailments, not only is it uninteresting [to the patients] but it can also be anxiety and fear provoking. We really take pride in creating the right environment. From our staff, to the cleanliness of our place, to the information people are getting when they walk in the door.”

Promoting Your Practice on TV, But that’s only part of it. On top of the content that is provided, you as the practice, can promote your services, products and community involvement, too.  Images, videos and live social media tools get your messaging across in a subtle way as your patients watch. Almost anything you can create on a smart device, you can upload quickly to your TV screens.

Joyce Ramirez, a Marketing Director at AFC Urgent Care said, “One of the challenges of marketing for an Urgent Care center is that it is not a primary care office and it’s also not a hospital. What I liked about It’s Relevant is that we’re able to showcase the services we provide. We’re not talking about blood pressure screenings and diabetes screenings because those are really for long term care, we’re really short term care. So we’re able to talk about travel vaccinations, immigration physicals, DOT physicals. We’re really able to convey the message of what we treat and the services we provide.”

It’s Relevant TV has been working with many medical and dental clients across the country. Managers love the professionalism the family-friendly content brings to their waiting room.  They love how they can update their patients on their latest products and services, with a lower cost than most cable subscriptions.

Television screens can make a big difference in your practice, from higher review scores to increased patient referrals. But it takes the right programming prescription to be sure it’s a positive one.

It’s Relevant TV serves medical and dental offices across the country as well as a host of other hospitality businesses. For more information please visit: http://www.itsrelevant.com/medical