The waiting room of a clinic is an essential component of any medical facility. That is often the first point of contact, and its design can reflect the identity and values of the healthcare facility. However, it frequently lacks prominence in the planning process. Clinic owners and designers should engage in thorough planning that considers patient flow, comfort, accessibility, privacy, and the integration of technology.
In this blog, we will discuss a few key elements to consider when designing a waiting room that will deliver a great first – and lasting – impression of your clinic.
Seating should be comfortable and arranged to provide options for people to choose whether to wait in a more private area or in family groups. Arms on chairs make it easier for patients to sit down and get up; chair sizes should vary to accommodate bariatric users. All seating should be in clear view of the reception desk. This helps assure patients that they haven’t been “forgotten” or missed and, if someone experiences a health emergency, they’ll be within sight of staff who can respond quickly.
Layout & Accessibility
A well-designed clinic layout facilitates smooth patient flow and navigation throughout the facility. To make the most use of the space in your waiting room, you need to start with your layout. Make sure it’s easy to navigate strollers or wheelchairs between the furniture. Waiting rooms must be easily accessible, with self-opening double doors, unobstructed pathways, and tables and chairs with clearance for those with mobility aids. When designing an accessible waiting room, however, there’s more to consider than ADA compliance.
You need to make sure the foot traffic can flow freely around the waiting area and doesn’t bottleneck, which may be even smoother if you have a separate exit to keep traffic moving in one direction. Ensure that examination and consultation rooms are strategically placed helps maintain patient confidentiality and fosters a secure environment.
Selecting The Right Decor
Colors: Pay attention to your color choices. The colors of the furniture you choose as well as the colors of your walls and fixtures can have a direct effect on the way patients feel. Colors that inspire calm and tranquility are best for medical offices. Neutral colors evoke feelings of calm and comfort. The wrong color could consciously or subconsciously contribute to feelings of frustration and discomfort. Bolder colors such as red and orange may be too intense for some patients. Save bold colors for accent pieces, like rugs and art. If you wish to keep the white walls, choose furniture pieces that are brightly colored. An inspired choice might be a modular seating system made from turquoise and blue elements.
Lighting: Adjusting the lighting in your waiting area can enhance the comfort of your visitors as well and can set a certain mood. Soft, bright light creates a sense of calm and increases the appeal of items on display, which would be good in a business office setting. Your patients can become uncomfortable and anxious if your lighting is too bright. You can have dimmable or adjustable lights installed or choose standing or table lamps that are softer. The brightness should be closer to your living room at home rather than an operating room.
Artwork: The right artwork can create the right ambiance and offer an opportunity to educate your patients about achieving and maintaining good health. It is also a cost-effective method to revamp or upgrade your dated medical waiting room. Feature walls – colored or patterned – are another great way to give your waiting room a warm, inviting feel. Potted plants, fresh flowers, succulent collections, and tabletop water features are simple ways to bring the natural world into your waiting room.
The design of your waiting room may not determine whether patients choose your practice or not, but it will affect their memory of their visit. Creating a healthy, productive, and beautiful waiting room is essential for making patients loyal customers.
Team Medico has extensive experience in designing medical clinics and will provide you with insights on how to make your waiting room work for your practice and patients. Your consultation with us is free. Book now.