1. Consider the design
Yes, you’re a Physiotherapist, not an interior designer. But there are specific elements you can easily and affordably incorporate into your reception space, including comfortable seating. One progressive design company has suggested that modular seating — with movable components and cushions that can be customized to different offices or individuals — Bear in mind that what’s comfortable for some patients may not be for others. Chairs with two sturdy arms may provide more support. Remember, your patients are in pain, that is the reason they are in your clinic.
Greenery and plants can improve the look of your waiting room and even improve the air quality. A NASA study found that aloe vera, spider plants, and Gerbera daisies help filter volatile organic compounds (VOCs) out of the air.
Check out Pinterest for some creative waiting room design ideas.
2. Make wait time enjoyable
Studies have shown that the actual wait time is not as important to people as the perception of their wait. If their time was spent doing something pleasant, patients are less likely to notice that your physiotherapists are running a little late— let alone complain about — the wait. Brewing a cup of coffee or tea takes several minutes and can increase patients’ overall perception of value.
Giving patients the chance to shop while they wait is another idea that helps some doctors keep patients busy and boost revenue at the same time. This could feature the toys your therapists use during their treatments such as trigger point balls, foam rollers, creams, thera-band etc.
3. Let patients be productive
While patients are waiting to see you, are they flipping through outdated magazines? Or using that time to do something productive like educating themselves about their health from your website or blog? New research shows that one in five patients uses his or her smartphone to search for health-related information in the waiting room before an appointment.
You can help them by providing free Wi-Fi. Directing them towards high-quality patient education materials of your own, either on your social media pages, or on a TV or tablet in your waiting room.