- April 30, 2018
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Going to the doctor’s office doesn’t typically elicit feelings of joy and relaxation. In fact, the mere thought alone is enough to induce stress for many of us, particularly those who have had less than pleasant experiences in the past. There are, however, a vast number of simple things you can do to create a more positive patient experience within your medical office space from check-in to check-out. Read on to find out how.
The front desk of your medical office space is the first interaction that your patient will experience. The people who run it are therefore essentially the face of your entire practice. For that reason, it is probably the most important thing to pay attention to. Hire a front desk staff that is personable, friendly, and knowledgeable. Maintain good communication between front-of-house and back-of-house staff so that wait times given to incoming patients are as accurate as possible. If delays occur (as happens), make sure that your front desk is relaying those messages on to waiting patients so they don’t feel as though they are being left in the dark. Nothing is more aggravating than sitting in a doctor’s office and watching the minutes tick well past your scheduled appointment time with no explanation.
Depending on the volume of your practice, the waiting area within your medical office space is where your patients will likely be spending a large portion of their visit. Keeping them comfortable while they wait is imperative to creating a positive experience. Choose chairs over couches, as most people will prefer to have their own space to sit in. Armless chairs will be beneficial to overweight, handicapped, or pregnant patients. Create separate sections to cater to sick patients who may be contagious, and design areas devoted specifically to children and families. Keep the waiting area neat and tidy and decorate it with warm colors and pleasant imagery. Invite in natural light and greenery by opening curtains and placing plants (real or fake) throughout. Avoid televisions, as they can actually enhance stress. Instead, offer free Wi-Fi to your patients so that they can use their own devices freely. Include a small coffee and tea bar if space allows. You may even take your waiting area to the next level by creating a unique experience, offering massage chairs, game rooms, or computer work stations.
The exam rooms within your medical office space should be immaculate, well-lit, and aesthetically pleasing. Your patients do not want to sit in a dingy room with flickering lights, peeling paint, and water marks on the ceiling. Nothing is likely to curb their confidence in your practice quicker. If space allows, shoot for roomier, larger exam rooms with additional seating for family members and friends who may be accompanying your patient. Provide books and magazines in case wait times hold you back from getting to them in a timely manner. If you are held up, have a staff member check in on your patient periodically so that they don’t feel as if they’ve been forgotten. Just this one, simple action is sure to help them feel as though they are an important part of your practice.
Once their office visit is over, your patient will likely need to schedule their next appointment and pick up any prescriptions written by the doctor. Depending on the nature of the visit, they may not want somebody peering over their shoulder as they are doing so. Providing a second, separate area within your medical office space to conduct check-out is a great way to ensure privacy as they ask any additional questions they may have. Pending that there are no prescriptions to pick up, it is also a great idea to offer a self-checkout counter where they can take their time to book their own next appointment via computer. Offer a questionnaire to each exiting patient asking for their feedback on their experience. Leave space at the bottom for them to leave suggestions for improvement. Read these suggestions and, if they seem reasonable, implement them. This is another easy way to show them that you are listening and that you care about making their visits more pleasurable.
Looking for Medical Office Space in the Baton Rouge Area?
If it’s time to take your practice to the next level, you’ll need to find the right medical office space to do just that. At SVN | Graham, Langlois, & Legendre, LLC, we are dedicated to pairing our clients with only the finest medical office properties. We work hard to negotiate the best deal and close it quickly and easily so that you can start creating the practice you dream of. Take a look at our database of commercial properties, and contact one of our team members today to begin your search!