Winning the Waiting (Room) Game

By Steve Barrett
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A certain gloom attaches to waiting rooms. The cheerlessness can be compounded when it’s a medical office waiting room.

Take the edge off for patients with design choices that promote health and comfort, urges Nicole Groshek, Social Media and Content Coordinator for Milwaukee-based National Business Furniture.

Mix it up. Incorporate bariatric seating, chairs with arms and some without, and sofas or love seats for sharing. Select well-padded seating that is durable and easy to clean.

Go with the right flow. Spacious, easily navigated walkways foster safety and minimize feelings of confinement. Ditto for furniture placement that allows for a bit of elbow room.

Keep things simple. Make sure patients can readily spot the correct paths both to the reception desk and to exam rooms.

Take it easy. Soft grays, browns and greens make the decor more homelike. (A caveat: Go bold and bright in pediatric offices.)

Get modern. Amenities such as free Wi-Fi help patients pass the time and boost comfort.

Lighten up. Opt for natural light if you can. Alternatively, bright, soft lighting promotes a serene atmosphere, and warm, low light creates a feeling of home. Ditch the fluorescents.

“A well-designed doctor’s office waiting room should make patients and their families feel comfortable and more at ease, given the nervous and frightened feelings many get simply from being in a healthcare facility,” Groshek writes.