Waiting rooms, at the best of times, can be a bit of an anxious affair for most of us. Between the reason of your appointment and the painful waiting times, the waiting room of a doctor, dentist or other professional can create a somewhat foreboding atmosphere. Thankfully, there are tools that can be used to help instill a calmer, more friendly environment for patients. The design of a waiting room can alleviate many of the stresses involved, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either. New research into how best to tackle these issues has been released by the Spanish design consultants Fuelfor, and it’s very interesting stuff.
KEEP YOUR PATIENTS COMFORTABLE
It may seem apparent, but patients don’t enjoy waiting all that much. What makes those waits even worse is if the chairs are old, janky and free of any padding. Time can move like treacle if your body is not comfortable, and uncomfortable seating does exactly that. The problem, though, is that everyone is different. Some patients might prefer a rigid, sturdy chair while others may opt for a spongy, sunk-in couch. Fuelfor have suggested something known as ‘Modular Seating’, which allows for a versatile seating system. Armrests can be folded away if they are interfering with a patient’s comfort. Even better, adjustable padded seating allows patients to tailor their own level of comfort while they’re waiting to be seen. Fuelfor have also suggested adding flower planters to keep the air fresh and fragrant. For additional privacy, acoustic dividers between seats could be implemented to keep conversations private.
CREATE A COMMUNAL SPACE
There is no escaping that a doctor’s office is one of the more stressful situations a person can be in. Fuelfor have suggested a left-field approach to dampening the anxiety of a doctor’s visit – the communal space. It may seem odd at face value – most people would likely prefer a little privacy when discussing intimate problems – but it is a potent way of making the situation less formal and awkward. Take, for example, a preoperative assessment. Traditionally, this might involve a patient planted in the doctor’s room, dealing with a strange environment as well as a stressful discussion with the doctor. By creating a large, communal table for the patient – along with their family – to conduct the consultations, it can relieve a great deal of anxiety. You can check our medical fitout works here.