Improving the aesthetics of your practice is a strategic move you can’t afford to pass over as you continue to build your brand and image.
Right or wrong, patients make judgements about the quality of care they will receive based on the look and feel your waiting room, patient rooms, and the overall look of your practice. Investing in a few simple changes will have a positive impact on patient’s perception about your practice.
Larry Stevens, correspondent for American Medical News online (amednews.com), offers several ways you improve the look and feel of your office without busting the bank.
1. Prioritize your projects.
Start with the obvious problem areas. It’s easier to tackle a large design project if you break it down into manageable components.
You may consider the following list to provide an order to follow when prioritizing projects.
- Walls first. Is the color as bright as when it was first painted or papered? Is the pattern up to date or reflecting the image you want to portray? Faded and old- fashioned walls give the impression of a practice that can’t afford refurbishing, and therefore, minimizes your credibility.
- Invest in new furniture. Consider buying new art, side tables, lamps, and chairs. When investing in seating arrangements, consider different sizes, shapes and hardness, and cluster to create barriers.
- Floor covering. This can entail new carpet, tile, linoleum, or wood floors.
- Overhead lighting. Move away from stark, industrial lighting to more modern fixtures. Even replacing bright bulbs to softer ones can alter the feel of a space.
2. Reception area.
While you will likely start in the patient waiting room, you may also want to take a look at your reception area and determine if it’s time for an upgrade. While this may require structural changes, you can make a difference by simply installing or lengthening the size of panels at each station to increase a patient’s sense of privacy and comfort while discussing private medical information.
3. Think Strategically.
What do you want to accomplish with your practice? What image do you want to project? What types of patients do you serve and what are their needs in terms of comfort? After answering these questions, you may want to consider the following:
- Spicing up exam rooms to combine functionality with design. For example, if you have wood floors in the waiting room, you may want to continue this theme in the exam rooms.
- Look beyond formulaic solutions, and consider design essentials specific to your practice. What works in one clinic may not work in another. For example, if your practice treats primarily elderly patients, because they may have poor eyesight, consider vibrant colors over pastels. Women visiting a gynecology clinic may prefer pastels. A pediatric clinic should consider bright colors and jungle scenes that would appeal to young patients.
- If you are considering an office facelift, it may be an ideal time to rethink your strategy. For example, a pediatric office wanting patients to remain until they are in their 20’s may consider 2 separate waiting areas, each appealing to different age groups.
3. Brand Recognition & Retention.
When you are selecting your d√©cor and wall covering, you may want to play off your practice’s name or location, and create themes that make your brand more memorable.
4. Let your Personality Show.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality, or display hobbies and interests. Patients enjoy feeling a personal connection with their physicians, and it increases their trust and comfort with you. I know a gynecologist who display’s his wife’s vast doll collection. You will see the dolls displayed in the waiting room, exam rooms, and throughout the hallways. This opens the door to conversation, making connections, and building relationship bridges.
Click on the following link to read the full amednews.com article, “Cosmetic procedure: Your office may need a makeover”