Your waiting room is an important part of your practice. It’s a functional place that lets you manage patient flow. Depending on comfort, wait times, and environment, it can be the difference between a happy patient and a disgruntled one.
Many practices can easily overlook the potential of their waiting rooms.
In reality, practice waiting rooms are an opportunity to:
- Modernise your practice
- Promote healthcare campaigns
- Improve patient satisfaction
- Share helpful information
Let’s explore how you can unlock the potential of your practice waiting room, and how information screens and digital signage can help.
What’s in a Waiting Room?
Your waiting room has a significant impact on patient experience. Details like waiting area size, signage system, and visual art on walls are all significant predictors of overall satisfaction in waiting rooms, so it's beneficial to invest in improving yours.
As most practices are busy managing the day-to-day running of a practice, these small details can fall to the wayside. Having a centralised system in place can help you manage the complete patient experience, much more effectively.
One method of making your waiting room more engaging is by improving your information screens.
How to Make the Most out of Your Waiting Room Information Screens
The ultimate purpose of a waiting room is to make patients feel comfortable. In a practice, where health-related topics might cause concern, putting patients at ease is key. Here's how to make the most of the information screens in your waiting room:
- Healthcare campaigns
- Patient entertainment
- Patient calling
Educating and informing patients should be a priority for healthcare practices, but finding the correct channel to effectively communicate with patients can be difficult. This is especially the case when face-to-face patient appointments are time-sensitive.
Waiting room information screens are an opportune channel to promote your healthcare campaigns on. For example, an anti-smoking campaign that lists the advantages of giving up smoking, as well as local support groups for people attempting to quit, may be useful.
You can also use them to display general health advice or guidance on certain conditions – especially if you see an uptick of certain ailments in your patient demographic.
These campaigns can be displayed on a timed cycle or all day, depending on how you choose to use your information screens, all managed from a single patient engagement platform.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on how the healthcare sector operates. During the implementation of social distancing measures, typical waiting room paraphernalia like leaflets, books, and child-friendly toys had to be removed to avoid contamination. Many patients are left idle when they don’t have anything to keep them entertained, especially elderly patients who may not have a mobile phone at hand to distract them.
A waiting room information screen is a great method of keeping patients entertained while they wait. You can use them to display things like videos, tailored messages, weather feeds, or even a custom playlist for your practice – be it local news or things that are relevant to your community.
This is beneficial because patients like to have something to look at when in a waiting room. Studies show that undirected eye contact, or even accidental eye contact with a stranger, can trigger stress responses in the brain. Displaying content on your information screens is a helpful method of redirecting patient attention, and thus making your waiting room experience more comfortable.
A patient calling system helps you maintain the flow of patients through your clinic. Instead of relying on your staff to verbally call-out patient names, a digital patient calling system provides a channel of clear communication to the people sitting in your waiting room.
You can trigger patient calls directly from your clinical management system using a patient engagement platform. Your information screen displays patient names to call the individual to their appointment.
Additionally, waiting room information screens for patient calling are more inclusive. Hard-of-hearing patients can see their names clearly on the screen, and your information screen could use a loud sound, or text to speech, to draw attention to those who are partially sighted.
Make Your Practice Waiting Room Patient-centric
Ultimately, your digital signage and information screens are a significant opportunity to make your practice more patient-centric.
By putting patient wellbeing first, you improve their experience and positively contribute to better healthcare outcomes in your practice.
Digital waiting room information screens also streamline how you communicate with patients, making things easier for your internal staff too.Back to blog