Improving Patient Experience in Medical and Dental Fitouts
When most of us walk into a medical surgery or dental clinic for an appointment, we feel uneasy or nervous; or at the very least - we want to get in and out. Let’s face it, it’s often no walk in the park.
Making the entry and waiting experience for a patient better should be prioritised just as strongly as the experience within assessment rooms, as it can:
- Improve patient feelings of uneasiness and improve mood
- Form a better link or relationship between your patient and your clinic
- Encourage patients to more readily book an appointment as they are less deterred
- Encourage patients to choose your clinic over others purely because of the experience
After all, who wants to sit in an uncomfortable, dull setting if a well designed and appealing space with great
furniture, lighting and amenities is up the road?
So what can you do to improve the experience in your medical or dental reception or waiting area?
Entry and Navigation
This seems simple, right? Finding your way from the entry to the reception counter is easy enough?
You may think so but that’s because you’re used to your space - your patients aren’t.
First of all, an entry door which is too narrow and can’t handle traffic effectively is stressful for patients and can
be a struggle for those with wheelchairs, walking frames and prams. Doors that don’t open automatically or
aren’t left open can also be a further challenge if there aren’t any staff members there to assist.
Widen your entry, incorporate a broad glass door with a large modern handle. A glass door will mean staff can
see people entering and can assist if needed. It’s not difficult to do, but makes the entry experience stress-free
for your patients.
Then, use subtle yet effective visual cues to direct patients from the entry to reception, either by using simple
clear signage or incorporating colour or patterns within flooring or walls to visually direct. A strip of colour
along a wall can often be more effective than signage. Run colour horizontally instead of vertically to direct the
eye and aid navigation.
Lots of different signs, coupled with information posters, or laminated instructions on walls are confusing and
often overwhelming. If there’s clutter, people naturally won’t read anything and will try to fend for themselves.
Strip back all clutter and work with necessary, simple and clear signage and use colour where you can. This
will allow the eye to clearly focus on the information you need to convey.