3 Ways to Make Your Waiting Room More Enjoyable for Patients

A patient spends an average twenty minutes sitting in a waiting room before his or her appointment. With the rise of doctor rating websites and a competitive healthcare environment, it is in your best interest as a healthcare professional to offer your patients the best possible experience within the first moment of walking through the door. Here are some ways to make your waiting room more appealing.

1. Consider the decor

You’re a medical professional, not a skilled interior designer. But there are certain elements you can simply incorporate into your waiting room. Comfortable seating is essential. Progressive design companies suggest modular seating with movable cushions and components that could be customized to different offices or individuals. This would greatly improve the waiting room’s environment. Bear in mind that seats comfortable for some patients may not be suitable for others. For example, elderly patients might have difficulty getting up from a couch. Chairs with two sturdy arms provide more support for these older patients.

Plants could improve the look and air quality of your waiting room as well. A NASA study has found that spider plants, aloe vera and Gerbera daisies help filter volatile organic compounds out of the air.

You should also consider some room dividers or separate areas of your waiting room where patients can have some privacy to make a phone call or to speak privately with family.

2. Make waiting time enjoyable

Research has shown that the actual wait time is not as important to patients as the perception of their wait. If their time was spent doing something engaging, patients will be less likely to notice and will have less of an urge to complain about the wait. Brewing a cup of tea or coffee takes a few minutes and can increase a patient’s overall perception of value.

Giving patients the chance to shop while they wait is another idea that assists some doctors in keeping patients busy. Many optometrists, orthopedists, dentists and dermatologists are already using this method. You should consider setting up a shop in a corner of your waiting room to sell educational books and items related to your practice.

3. Let your patients be productive

When a patient is waiting to see you, is he or she flipping through outdated magazines? Or is he or she using that time to do something productive, like educating themselves about his or her health? Studies show that one out of five patients use his or her smartphone to search for health-related information in the doctor’s waiting room moments before the appointment.

You can help them further by providing high-quality patient education materials using a TV along with Marantz surround sound. Our healthcare solutions make this possible and scalable. Your patient can view your medical education videos in the waiting room, then share it with their family members.

With a bit of creativity and small investment, you can make your waiting room an enjoyable, productive space for your patients. And if your patient’s first impression of your practice is a great one, they will spread the word to friends and family. Click here to learn how you can use our audio and video resources to make your waiting room patient-friendly.

Home Automation: It’s not about turning on a light bulb with your phone

Most people think of Home Automation as just an entertainment center with surround sound, a remote and TV. Maybe they’ve installed a light bulb you can adjust with an app on your phone. While those are popular elements in an automation system, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of new technology. There are many possibilities aimed at streamlining your daily activities all over the home for safety, entertainment and savings.

How many times have we arrived home with a bundle of groceries and struggled with the key in a dark entryway? This is a great example of how Home Automation can add personal safety and home security, all in one. Imagine pulling into the driveway and unlocking the door from your car? Your porch light is already on as you’ve had it programmed to come on at the time and day that best fits your schedule. With a video doorbell you can also lock and unlock your door for packages, repair professionals and your kids. Additional video cameras around your home double as a deterrent and live recording of an adverse event. If your schedule changes or you’re out of town, program a vacation schedule. You can easily monitor it all in your smartphone app from anywhere around the world!

How about opening your door and having the interior path lit up, and your favorite, relaxing song playing through speakers in the kitchen ceiling that line up with your recessed lighting to blend perfectly with your aesthetic? The kitchen has become the center of the action in most homes, and a wall-mounted touchscreen can handle it all. From controlling light and music to displaying recipes for hands-free cooking, even catch up on your favorite show on one of your apps! And don’t forget the climate in your home! Scheduling the thermostat to turn up or down to your comfort zone a half hour before you get home is not only saving on your utility bill, it’s doing your part to conserving precious energy resources.

Ok, so you’ve got the picture on how convenient and cost saving the automation of lighting, climate and a security system can be to your busy life. Now how about fun?! You can make any room into a theater, with the distributing power to put audio and video in every room. Start with a smart TV for live streaming your favorite shows or movies with the Netflix app, and pump out your music throughout the home with Pandora. A good quality receiver will do this and also tie in a surround sound speaker system. There’s nothing like theater-quality sound to make you jump out of your seat! Smart Home Automation makes control a snap from the comfort of your couch with your tablet or iPad. You can dim the lights and turn on the surround sound with a simple touch. Even turn off lights and music in other rooms. So you don’t want to clash the look of modern technology components with your elegant, classic style furnishings? You can hide speakers and subwoofers in cabinets or even in the wall. Also a media rack can be hidden in a closet to keep things uncluttered.

But how will you control all of this without killing your home network’s capabilities? The easiest solve is to upgrade it with a signal booster, maybe a bigger house would benefit from a wireless access point placed where signal is difficult to get. Either way, a more robust, faster network works for everyone.

With the multitude of products now available in the IoT (Internet of Things) category, professional A/V integrators are still your best bet on choosing exactly what sort of system you’d prefer based on your particular needs and desires.

All in all, the automation of a home helps you navigate the hectic schedules we all have nowadays. And isn’t more time spent enjoying your family worth that?

Read more about home automation here.