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Practice Management Blog

9 Ways to Brighten Up Your Waiting Room

Cost-Effective Ways to Help Attract and Retain Loyal Clients

Covid-19 has shaken the world and has had a significant impact on allied healthcare practices.

Damien Adler, the co-founder of Power Diary and psychology practice owner, developed this health check-up to help practice owners take practical steps to improve their practice in eight key areas. One of the crucial areas highlighted is the physical environment, but for practice owners with busy schedules, it isn’t always easy to take a step back and take a balanced look at the different rooms in your practice.

Sometimes it helps to break bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable bites. Rather than trying to do all the rooms at the same time, this article focuses on the waiting room experience. It’s a great opportunity to make a good impression and can go a long way towards making your clients feel more at home.

With this in mind, is your waiting room looking a little tired?

Do you need to add some fresh life, but don’t have the budget for big upgrades?

Are you struggling to know where to start?

No problem!

These nine pointers will help inspire you to brighten up your waiting room, without the need for expensive purchases.

Consider All 5 Senses When Brightening a Space

Humans are sensory creatures, with multiple receptors responding to our physical environment. It’s simply not enough to give the room a coat of paint and call it a day. Instead, if you’re trying to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, you must consider the five senses.

Delight with sight, create trust with smell, provide an auditory experience, tickle the taste buds, and create dimension through texture.

Here’s how:

Sight

Imagine sitting in a bland white room, waiting for your appointment. Sounds boring? That’s because it is!

Now, imagine entering a well-designed space filled with some colour, texture, and visual interest. Doesn’t that sound better?

Remember that your waiting room is the first impression that new and prospective clients will have of your practice. While you don’t want to look like the Andy Warhol of practices, some visual interest can go a long way.

Pro Tip: You can brighten up your waiting room by using great-looking informative wall hangings, and here are a few ways to make your practice look fantastic.

1. Posters, Signage and Paintings

While it looks great, we all know that art can be expensive. However, you don’t need to hang a signed oil painting by a master on your wall for your practice to look professional. Instead, use these fun art and signage ideas to brighten up your waiting room space:

  • Comb thrift shops to find old affordable artworks. Perhaps you might find some hidden treasures!
  • You can buy prints of original paintings, making the cost significantly lower.
  • Support local artists – perhaps there is someone up and coming in your area whose art you can display.
  • Do you have kids? Use their art for a personal touch.
  • Invest a little extra in your signage design. Create pictures using colour, bright fonts and images. Signs displaying safety information, hygiene practices, payment information, to name just a few ideas, will keep your clients informed while they wait.
  • Finally, perhaps find or design bright posters related to your field, with these being a great alternative to magazines in a post-Covid world.

2. Colour Psychology

Did you know that our brains are programmed to have emotional responses to different colours?

According to colour psychology experts, humans feel most at ease when cool colours like blue and green surround them. Such colours evoke a sense of calm and peace as they are associated with natural elements.

In addition, white is a trustworthy colour as it can’t hide dirt. Combine a theme of white, green and blue for a winning look.

So, for your next coat of paint, skip the red and black in favour of nature’s primary hues to keep your space looking clean and fresh.

3. Interesting Decorations and Plants

Do you love to travel? Perhaps add some international treasures to your waiting room, or find some fun décor at local thrift stores. Don’t over clutter, though, as you don’t want a dust collection. Instead, keep it plain and simple.

Finally, since nature is the best medicine, should your space have enough light and fresh air, add some greenery to your waiting room. Unlike trinkets, with plants, the more is, often, the merrier. Just remember the upkeep, as no one will admire a dead plant!

Smell

Lush greenery doesn’t only provide visual interest but also gives the space a fresh, natural smell. A beautiful waiting room will not be next-level chic without smelling divine. Use plants, along with these excellent tips, to keep your space smelling crisp and clean.

4. Essential Oils

Oils like lavender and eucalyptus are fantastic for creating a warm space. They’re best used in a diffuser, a burning, or simply add them to a bowl.

5. Fresh Air

If you’re lucky to have windows and the weather is suitable, be sure to keep them open whenever you can. Your patients will love fresh air, and it’s healthy!

A great air-conditioning system is worth investing in if you have the money for this.

6. Regularly Cleaning and Sanitation

Cleanliness and regular sanitation are vital, especially in a post-Covid world.

Firstly, if you can, hire someone to clean your practice regularly. Keep everything clean and sterile so that your clients feel comfortable and safe.
Make sure that these are available for your patients:

  • Sanitising stations
  • Soap dispensers in the bathroom
  • Tissues
  • Paper towels

Finally, consider putting up signage to indicate that your space is regularly cleaned and sanitised.

Taste, Sound and Touch

While the top 2 senses are your main priority, you shouldn’t rule out taste, sound, and touch when it comes to brightening up your waiting room.

Here are some great ways to include these senses.

7. Everyone Loves Drinks and Snacks

Perhaps offer a tea and coffee station, provide sweets for kids, and if you can, have a vending machine available, as all ages will love these facilities. Just be sure that everything is Covid-safe and compliant.

8. Explore Sound Solutions

Perhaps you’re running late? A sound system with white noise, radio or relaxing music will keep your clients relaxed while they wait. Maybe find a solution that allows you to switch these up according to the atmosphere you want to create.

9. Comfort is Key

Invest in comfortable couches and chairs and perhaps bright, textured pillows. If you can’t afford to replace dreary old sofas, sofa covers or just the pillows will do the trick!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The sky’s the limit when brightening up your waiting room, and whatever your budget, there are many DIY ways to achieve the look you want. It just takes viewing your waiting room with a fresh perspective (and a little bit of creativity!)

With a focus on keeping the client experience in mind, creating a warm, friendly, and clean environment will allow you to tick this key performance metric off the list.

If you’ve got this one covered, you’re ready to tackle the next challenge. Have a look at our other health performance metrics to find out how healthy your practice is.


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