Looking to spruce up your hospital waiting room? If you manage a hospital you probably want everything to look as nice as possible; that goes double for anywhere visitors are sitting for any length of time. This article will share the top 5 tips and tricks towards making your waiting room welcoming.
Tip #1: The Waiting Room TV
What waiting room feels complete without a TV for people to watch? TVs in waiting rooms is a tale as old as time, however simply having a TV is only half the battle. What you decide to put on it makes all the difference.
The waiting room TV options available to hospitals vary in terms of quality, and practicality. There’s the default standard cable/satellite service, which is a bad idea for all of the reasons listed in this article. But in short, cable is a missed opportunity, it allows competing hospitals to show up uninvited on the screen, and you can’t control what programming plays beyond choosing the channel.
Alternatively, there are patient education videos for medical offices. Yet they’re just as risky for the fact that most visitors find them boring, or in some cases; upsetting. However educational or informative they might be, the truth is that your patients most likely won’t see it that way.
Finally, there are custom TV networks, which are arguably the safest, and most cost-effective type of waiting room TV solution. It’s hard to beat a service that’s specifically designed to improve patient experience through fun and interesting videos. Utilizing a service that has videos that are fun, and interesting, is the trick though. For a head-start on where to begin looking, check out It’s Relevant TV.
Tip #2: Comfortable Furniture
Now, no one’s expecting a waiting room full of heated massage-chair recliners with built-in speakers. But some nice, well-maintained and intact chairs can go a long way when it comes to patient comfort. The bar for visitors’ expectations isn’t set very high in regards to what kind of seating they’re going to find in a hospital waiting room. Still – these are going to be chairs where either patients or relatives of patients might be expected to sit for a very long time. So it helps to invest in some furniture that won’t cause them to visit a chiropractor. Generating repeat business is important, however that’s not way to go about doing it.
Tip #3: Cleanliness!
Cleanliness. Hospitals are full of germs, sicknesses, and plenty of people anxious about catching them; so making sure that your hospital’s waiting rooms are spick-and-span is instrumental to your visitor’s comfort, and the overall state of the waiting room itself. Cleanliness is more than just vaccuming the floor, or mopping the slick surfaces with cleanser. Dust has a habit of gathering on surfaces such as lampshades, picture frames, or plastic plants that are easy to miss; but the perceptive, and scrutinizing visitors will notice the dust in these places in a heartbeat.
Next time you’re in your waiting room, run a finger over these places and see what, if anything, is being missed. If you don’t find any dust, treat your cleaning staff to something nice. Because you’ve got some folks working for you who are doing a good job!
Tip #4: Plants & Art
Plants, artwork, and other decorative accents turn a bland, or daunting waiting room into one that is aesthetically pleasing. A hospital waiting room doesn’t have to be on par with the Musée d’Orsay, but a piece of art here and there can make all the difference. It’s just a simple way to make the place your visitors will be waiting in feel more natural.
Artwork can be bought at any local gallery, thrift store, or flea market for reasonable prices. Likewise, you can find a number of plastic plants at just about any home improvement, or department store. But as with Tip #3 – don’t forget to dust them from time to time!
Tip #5: Music & Ambiance
Hospitals are a haven of sick people coughing, doctors being paged, and a host of other administration noises. These, and other typical hospital sounds, can be anxiety-inducing for some patients and a constant reminder of where they are. That’s why it’s important, or at least considerate, to invest in some kind of music, ambiance, or white-noise soution for your visitors’ comfort.
Whether it’s a radio speaker, a calming white noise generator, or even somthing as simple as a TV that’s not muted; a little sound can go a long way. If you do end up going the route of television- make sure it’s not too loud. Yelp is full of medical office reviews of patients complaining about noise levels being too high. Patients are tons more likely to post a bad experience online before they’d ever approach you, the hospital, about it.
Play it safe with your TVs. The best thing any medical office can do for its waiting room is put something on the TV that will give the visitors something enjoyable to watch. Fun and interesting is the key. Visitors in waiting are always looking to kill time, so programming that helps pass the time is what you should be on the lookout for.
Look online for waiting room TV software for medical offices. There’s plenty of options to pick from. See what you can find, schedule some demos, and talk to some experts about how implementing a custom TV network for your hospital is a forward-thinking strategy.