I speak to you from my heart and as a concerned friend-patient.
While you may be largely unaware of what is happening in your reception area, your patients are experiencing it all in “real time”.
Here is an important question to ask of yourself and your staff: Every time we patients walk into your office and into your “reception area”, are we feeling like we are being well received?
From our first step through the door, you have an unprecedented opportunity to impress us with your warmth and caring…or to disarm us with your callousness in a nano second.
Here are some Tips To Help You Share a Great Reception Room With Us, Your “Patients-Customers.”
(1) At the first glimpse, your office should minimally be inviting, clean, comfortable and decorated with happy, restful colors.
(2) Seating & positioning of seating should be comfortable, accessible and in good condition. A patient should not have to snag her nylons on your shredding vinyl seating (as I did recently in your “high profile” office (as an example).
(3) Your staff ideally should NOT be stuffed behind glass as though they are driving an armored truck and are trying to shield themselves from the enemy.
(4) Should you choose to have a flat screen t.v. (in lieu of restful music and/or nature sounds emanating from the reception area), please do not have the volume turned up high with some sordid reality t.v. show that shouts profanity at us the entire time we are waiting. Most of us don’t like this and find it offensive and a reminder of how America is dumbing itself down (not a restful or peaceful thought… as you can imagine).
(5) Also, please do not build your restroom in direct eye contact of all the patients waiting due to the fact that we might just have to listen and watch as a very sick patient upchucks unmercifully over and over with no attendance from your staff.
(6) Use common sense design and spend a little more money to get it right as opposed to leaving your patient-customers with a sour taste in their mouth and requiring an EMR trip to Walgreens for panty hose replenishment while driving late to work.
(7) Remain mindful of the fact that there is now a groundswell of competition in the physician ranks and we really can go elsewhere to see a physician who might appreciate us more.
(8) Patients can speak volumes freely on the internet through a multiplicity of social media outlets about their experience in your office…either “good or bad”. Because you are a physician, you will have to be very judicious in any responses that you might make to any allegations online…….if any!
(9) Don’t give patients license to legitimately criticize their lackluster experience in your reception area pertaining to either ambiance or staff.
(10) When thinking about a reception room design and furnishings, do not forget that your investment in all of his is null and void if not accompanied by apleasant, warm welcome from your staff who seem to genuinely give a hoot about us and not just the paper work.