5 Ways to Improve Your Doctor’s Office’s Waiting Room

Quench Q8 freestanding water cooler in office waiting room

Few things in life are as anxiety-inducing as sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room. The experience often involves sharing space with strangers and stressing about your possible prognosis. Not exactly a vacation retreat. Yet, doctor’s offices are essential, which means waiting rooms aren’t going away any time soon. So, it’s best to make the most of them. Luckily, there are simple changes you can implement beyond taking temperatures and wearing masks that can help give your patients peace of mind as they wait for their appointments.

1. Tell Patients in Advance How Long They Will Wait

It’s worth notifying your patients about expected wait time before they get to your office. Not only will this help them manage their schedules better, but it will also help to limit the number of people physically in your office at one time. Thus, reducing the risk of infection. The more transparent you can be about the expected wait times upfront, the more your patients will appreciate your services. A simple text or email will suffice.[1]

2. Spice Up the Office Décor

Most doctor’s office waiting rooms are uncomfortable and impersonal, featuring rows of unattractive office chairs and bright fluorescent lighting. Give your office a slight makeover to improve the waiting experience. Spice up the office with a couple of cozy amenities like floor lamps and wall art. You may even want to invest in comfortable, aesthetically pleasing upholstery. Consider furniture that is easily washable to avoid the spread of germs. It’s best to favor fabric that breathes easily and does not trap heat.[2]

3. Separate the Waiting Room into Two Sides

You’ll also want to consider how your furniture is arranged. People value their personal space, especially at a doctor’s office when visitors are often contagious. Help guests stay far enough apart to prevent cross-contamination. It is also wise to split the waiting room into two sides: one side for sick patients and one side for healthy patients. Separate check-in areas for sick and healthy patients can further prevent the spread of germs in your doctor’s office.

4. Keep your Guests Entertained

Set up a television in your waiting room and invest in a custom TV channel specifically made for doctor’s office patients. Programs like It’s Relevant TV combines the attractiveness and appeal of up-to-date family-friendly television programming that both entertain and educate.[3]

If guests prefer to check their phones, tablets, or laptops while they wait, make it more convenient for them by providing free high-speed WiFi. The ability to check emails and browse the internet without using data can significantly reduce friction.

5. Give your Patients the Option to Dispense Drinking Water from a Touchless Point-of-Use Water Cooler

Take your patient care to the next level by installing a touchless point-of-use water cooler in your waiting room or lobby. Whether through sensor-activated dispensing, foot pedal dispensing, paddles, or QR-codes, Quench touchless water dispensers minimize the risk of spreading germs and can ease patients’ worries of cross-contamination from others around them.

Point-of-use water coolers also have advanced built-in filtration technologies to rid water of sediments, chemicals, odors, and off-tastes. As a last line of defense, many touchless water dispensers feature antimicrobial surface protection, which is a silver ion technology that can be impregnated into the surfaces of the water cooler.

If you want to kick your hydration game up a notch further, opt for an ice machine or a specialty water cooler. Chewable ice can be soothing for patients and staff. It can also be used for patient care to relieve swelling. Specialty water coolers, on the other hand, create a fun atmosphere by providing patients with an endless supply of flavored and sparkling water.

“Rather than simply hand visitors a plastic bottle or can, you can engage them with this fun and pleasantly unexpected experience that immediately helps set you apart,” said Chris Curtis, National Account Manager at Bevi, a partner brand with Quench.

Keeping guests well-hydrated while they wait for their appointments will not cost extra either. Healthcare businesses that use point-of-use water coolers to hydrate 50 users a day save around $2,880 annually if they switch from renting a 5-gallon water jug dispenser to renting a point-of-use water cooler – or around $3,730 annually if they switch from a single-use plastic water bottle delivery service to renting a point-of-use water cooler. That’s more money you can put towards other invaluable business expenses. 

It’s Time to Invest in a Point-of-Use Water Cooler for Your Doctor’s Office

The quality of your waiting room is directly related to your brand image. It’s an opportunity for you to demonstrate who you are to your patients and your employees. A simple addition like a touchless water dispenser can make the wait a more pleasant experience.

Let Quench help you turn your standard doctor’s office waiting room into a relaxing oasis by getting a point-of-use water machine for your medical clinic. Quench has a wide selection of point-of-use water coolers. Some of those coolers dispense mineral water, some dispense ice, some even dispense flavored and sparkling water. Visit our Product Finder to see which Quench water machine is right for your medical clinic.

[1] https://www.repugen.com/blog/improve-patients-waiting-room-experience

[2] https://phase5analytics.com/blog/waiting-room-design-tips/

[3] http://articles.itsrelevant.com/2017/10/26/top-3-waiting-room-tv-services-for-medical-offices/