Waiting to hear your name being called at the doctor’s office or the hospital waiting room can feel like a lifetime, the medical office waiting room plays a huge role in patient satisfaction. Canada’s wait times in family physician offices, walk-in clinics, and hospital emergency rooms are extremely high compared to many other countries. That’s why it’s important for healthcare professionals, like medical office administrators and medical receptionists to do their best to make the waiting experience as pleasant as possible for patients.
If you’re planning to pursue a career as a Medical Office Administrator (MOA), read on to learn about three practical and effective tips for improving the medical office waiting room once you begin your career.
1. Healthcare School Grads Can Place an Informative Sign at the Waiting Room Entrance
Walking into a medical office can be an impersonal experience for patients. Most times, everything from the lighting to the decor and even the carpeting can give them a cold, clinical feel. Sometimes, patients are not even sure where to go when they arrive, or which doctor will be seeing them. Once you graduate from healthcare school and find employment, you might consider placing an informative sign near the entrance of a waiting room—this can help personalize the experience slightly, while providing important information.
Using a blackboard-style sign, for example, will allow you to write new welcome messages daily, as well as the names of physicians who are on staff that day, and any other information that’s relevant to your medical office. This gives the medical office a personal touch, and also helps patients feel a little more informed when they walk through the door.
2. Healthcare School Grads Know a Little Comfort Can Go a Long Way
Waiting to see a doctor can be especially difficult when patients are not only sick, but have to sit in old or uncomfortable chairs. Although you likely won’t have a say in completely redecorating a medical office once you land a job, you could recommend that the office upgrade their seating if the chairs being used are very old and uncomfortable. If this exceeds your office’s budget, another solution would be to add a few cushions to the waiting room chairs. Doing so will immediately make the seating more comfortable, and can also add colour to the medical office, making for a more welcoming environment.
3. Healthcare School Grads Can Ensure Patients Have Something To Do While They Wait
Some of today’s modern medical offices display a screen which shows patients when they’ll be seen by a doctor according to their number. While patients are waiting, however, they normally don’t have anything to do. Once you complete your MOA training and begin your career, you might suggest adding a few useful items to the medical office for which you work. These can include:
- Health and wellness magazines or other reading materials
- A percolator or hot water pot for tea and coffee
- Access to free WiFi
The idea is to give patients something to do that’s both affordable for the office, and helps them feel valued. Small differences, like adding a few of the above items to the medical office, will be noticed by patients, and will make wait times much more enjoyable.
Want to earn your Medical Office Administration diploma?
Visit Computek for program information, or to speak with an advisor.