Improve Your Waiting Room Experience with the
5 Senses Approach

Healthcare Waiting Room

First impressions are powerful – usually formed in a matter of seconds. What does your waiting room say about you and your healthcare practice to your patients?

If your waiting room is starting to look and feel a bit out-dated, it might be time to look at a refresh. Not only will this impress your patients, it will also reduce the perceived waiting time by providing them with a modern, fresh and comfortable setting to wait in.

Using the 5 senses, here are a few tips to refresh your waiting room and improve your patient’s experience and perceptions.

Touch – Its all about comfort

  • Ensure the furniture in your waiting room is comfortable, clean and aesthetically complementary to the décor of your waiting room.
  • Look at the layout of your floor plan – patients find it uncomfortable sitting in a formation where they are forced to stare at each other. While looking at your floor plan, ensure a wheelchair is able to pass through the walking area to ensure OH&S compliance.

Hearing – Create the mood

  • Silence is awkward at the best of times. Gentle background music is great to break the tension and sets a more comfortable environment to be in.
  • Don’t play the radio, this may be a breach of broadcasting regulations, but also doesn’t set a great impression listening to “Frank Walker from National Tiles” (apologies if you’re not familiar with this ad) bleating his biggest sale of the year in your professional practice.
  • If you are using video marketing on a screen, ensure the volume is set at a level that is respectful of other patients who may choose not to engage with it.

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Smell – Surprise your patients

Although often overlooked, smell can be very offensive if there is a bad odour lingering. Having a fresh, soothing scent in your practice will help make your patients feel more relaxed and comfortable while they wait for their appointment.

Smell is also inviting – and will leave a good first impression of your practice.

Essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus are always a safe option, but make sure the smell isn’t overpowering.

Sight – How do you look

First impressions are often formed immediately based on what we see. Let’s have a look at a few focus points to ensure the atmosphere of your practice leaves a lasting impression.

  • Lighting – Lighting can make or break the mood and feel of your practice. Most commercial practices are using LED downlights as their main source of light – warm white colour (3000k) will create a soft, inviting look and feel, while cool white (4000k – 5000k) will create a more lively, fresh, modern look and feel. Choose lighting to suite the look and feel of your décor.
  • Colour – Adding a splash of colour to your waiting room can be done in the form of a feature wall, artwork, feature lighting, or the colour of the décor itself. Colour can be looked at in two ways – use it to compliment your branding, or if you want to look deeper into it, the psychology behind colour can also be considered depending on your patient demographic. Here is a very basic look at colourpsychology:
  • Red – Energy and passion
  • Orange – Adventure and Optimism
  • Yellow – Cheerful
  • Green – Balance and healing
  • Blue – Trust and Peace
  • Purple – Imagination
  • Brown – Friendly and down to earth
  • White – purity, wholeness

Taste – How do we flavour your practice?

For those who really want to step it up and leave a lasting impression, why not appeal to your patients taste.

  • Coffee Machine – consider having a capsule coffee machine available to patients – there are generally easy to use with just the touch of a button, and mess free. Coffee also adds a nice smell to the environment.
  • Water Dispenser – Most months of the year in Australia, just the walk from the car to the comfort of the air-conditioning can leave you looking for a glass of water – keep your patients cool, calm and hydrated with a water dispenser.
  • Mints – A bowl of complimentary mints on the reception desk is another way you can touch on your patients last sense to complete the entire experience and make their wait feel a little shorter and enjoyable.

These are just some of the ways that you may be able to improve your waiting room experience for your patients. For other tips on improving the patient experience, contact the team at Splice Marketing for a chat. We would also love your feedback or ideas so please leave a reply below or get in touch on social media.