Hospital and GP waiting rooms often have the unfortunate reputation of being dull, crowded, and generally uninteresting environments. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Ensuring your patients are frequently updated on waiting times and when they can expect to be seen improves patient satisfaction. Likewise, by displaying a constant stream of relevant and engaging content while patients wait, you’ll ensure that they’re always entertained and kept up to date with the latest healthcare information and targeted campaigns.
There's a lot that can be done to establish your waiting room as an efficient, entertaining, and ultimately, pleasant environment that keeps your patients happy.
Below, we’ve highlighted 4 quick ways to improve the patient waiting room experience.
1: Simple, Fast Check-In Process
Your patients' healthcare journey begins as soon as they enter your practice, so it's important that their arrival is handled as efficiently as possible.
Streamlining patient check-in can mitigate tedious administration and reduce unnecessary queuing at your reception desk. A great place to start improving this procedure, is by integrating digital displays and touchscreens as part of your arrival process.
Over 90% of people find digital check-in systems easy to use and it's not hard to see why.
Giving patients the option to sign in and enter personal information on a digital check-in module reduces pressure on your staff, speeds up check-in times, and helps patients get settled into your waiting room much faster.
An intuitive touchscreen, a clear, friendly display, and simple, two step sign-in, ensures a stress-free patient experience — and one that keeps satisfaction high.
2: Improve Patient-Calling
Another simple, but effective, way to boost patient experience, is by improving the calling system. There’s nothing worse than a chaotic, unorganised waiting room with inaudible or barely visible patient calls.
With the right technology, you can let staff easily issue calls on the waiting room display, at a click, straight from their browser or desktop. This removes the need for manual calling — freeing up your medical staff for other more important tasks and reducing waiting times for patients.
What's more, by digitising your calling system, you can enable support for multiple calls simultaneously across different screens. This not only removes confusion if several patients are called at once, but avoids delays in communication — ensuring that your patients are kept engaged and informed at all times.
3: Clear, Digital Signage
Communication is essential in enhancing the waiting-room experience. Giving patients access to a constant stream of videos, images, and information that's relevant to them, will keep them engaged while they wait for their appointment — while also giving you a chance to promote your own campaigns.
Through digital signage, you can ensure your patients are always entertained, by displaying live news broadcasts, up-to-date medical advice and personalised playlists based on current healthcare trends.
Plus, implementing digital signage can cut perceived wait time by up to 35 percent, while also providing a boost to patient engagement within your practice.
4: Patient Feedback
Finally, one of the simplest but most overlooked ways of improving the waiting-room experience, is talking to your patients about what areas they feel need work — and listening to them.
After all, who can better tell you what improvements to make than the people who are experiencing any problems first-hand?
Maintaining a dialogue with your patients by regular questionnaires, feedback forms, and interactive custom surveys will help you recognise any potential issues such as lack of space, poor lighting or accessibility problems that need to be addressed. By keeping one step ahead of patient satisfaction trends, you can ensure your waiting-room isn't just a transit zone between appointments — but is a calm, engaging environment that supplements the patient experience.
For more on how to improve patient experience in your organisation, check out our infographic.Back to blog