Do you really want to create a WOW experience for your patients??
Some design tips are more common sense than others but they all have one thing in common…
They can MAKE or BREAK your patient’s experience. If you walked into a surgeon’s office and their reception room had threadbare couches, flickering lights and dusty old coffee tables, would you trust them with your life? Probably not!
Your patients wants to see modern, well-designed and comfortable reception areas and operatories so that they KNOW that your technology and skills are up-to-date.
Space & Equipment is the easiest of the Big 5– after all, it only requires money and a design or construction professional! But if you ignore it, it will definitely bit you on the butt! Neglecting how your office LOOKS will not only prevent New Patients from sticking around, it will also prevent your regular patients from returning! As soon as they find a more pleasant environment, you can bet your shabby green rug they’ll be gone!
Below are some basic tips that we’ve compiled to help you MAKE THE MOST of your Space & Equipment:
1) Reduce clutter in the reception area. Clutter not only leads to increased bacteria and infection, it also gives an unprofessional appearance. Keep tabletops cleared off except for a few magazines.
2) Choose materials and architectural designs that help control your noise levels! Materials that absorb sound waves and architectural arches can help you achieve these acoustics.
3) Use a variety of materials to create visual interest for the patient. Granite countertops, wooden cabinets, iron light fixtures– whatever looks good together! Just remember to mix it up!
4) Play soothing background music or have the TV set on a neutral station– such as the Home & Garden network– in order to help the patient stay inside their bubble and keep their stress levels low. Turning the TV on to the news can cause patients to feel negative and anxious.
5) Use an imbalance of colors– where the more neutral/subtle color is noticeably more dominant– to create an environment of relaxation. If you are considering a vibrant red as a main color in your design, consider using red throw pillows and chairs, or a red painting, rather than painting an entire WALL red. It is generally best to stay away from vibrant primary colors when deciding on reception area wall paint. Relaxing tones such as taupe, sage green, or tan are perfect for reducing your patient’s stress.
6) Make sure your signage is visible from the street/parking lot. No matter how brilliant the design behind the sign, it’ll be wasted if it isn’t visible to potential patients.
7) Neutral lighting is best if possible. Try to introduce as much natural light as possible into your reception area and operatories through the use of large, unblocked windows and skylights. This reduces the harsh fluorescent glare and feeling of sterility.
8) Use non–porous materials for countertops, and have as few seams as possible. Countertops are essentially petri dishes in your office, collecting bacteria in every crack and pore. Countertops with fewer seams, made of non-porous materials are much more sanitary for working medical environments.
9) Use your imagination! There is no set-in-stone formula for creating the perfect office. Have some fun with it!
Remember, your physical office should be a reflection of your unique team and excellent services– you don’t want anyone to turn on heel at the door! We often talk about the Ritz Carlton model…. How they are constantly training their team (over 280 times per year!) and striving to raise the standard of excellence in all of their locations.
This excellence doesn’t JUST apply to the level of service but also the physical environment where they welcome their clients! If you ever stay at the Ritz, you’ll notice that EVERYTHING is nicer… Their hallways and rooms are pristine, their décor is carefully chosen… even the materials they use are nicer!
They realize the importance of a good first impression, and strive to make the most of their Space & Equipment.
So what is the first impression your patients are getting when they step into your Practice?
Do they feel welcome, comfortable, and at ease?
If not, you NEED to reconsider your office design to maximize your Space & Equipment! If you haven’t changed the decor in eight to ten years…. it is DEFINITELY time for an update!
Call 866-917-2808 and ask about our New Patient Experience Training… One of our Certified Training Specialists will help you assess and make changes to your office’s design, so that your patients feel like they’re visiting the Ritz!