How to Create An Appealing Doctor's Office In 3 Steps

ND Medina

January 10, 2020

There are many factors that go into creating an appealing doctor’s office: a cohesive sense of identity, a calming atmosphere, welcoming staff, well-scheduled patients who are seen on time, and more. Below are some ways you can help make your doctor’s office one that patients look forward to visiting. 

1. Hire Friendly and Professional Staff

It is important to train your staff on how to speak to patients professionally and in a courteous fashion. No patient wants to speak to someone who condescends to them. With a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, patients will be more comfortable speaking to staff. 

The more comfortable the patient is when speaking to your staff, the more likely your patients will bring up the types of issues that you need to know about and discuss with them during their diagnosis. 

2. Keep a Clean, Calm Waiting Room

via Unsplash

There are a few easy ways to create a comfortable waiting room:

  • Provide current periodicals and educational materials for patients to explore while they are waiting, such as magazines from the current month or seasonally relevant pamphlets on topics like back-to-school vaccines or flu season
  • Provide water, tea, or coffee 
  • Keep the TV volume low or muted, and put on closed captioning
  • Play gentle, inoffensive background music
  • Decorate in an aesthetically pleasing way, perhaps with plants, some well-placed portraits or even an aquarium

The important thing when creating your waiting room is to pay attention to detail: cleanliness, up-to-date magazines, seasonal pamphlets or holiday decorations, and more. Bear in mind that a patient is usually reluctant to come and see the doctor, even if it’s just to verify that their current course of treatment is working for them. Think of what would make you more comfortable when waiting in a space, and what would make you uncomfortable, and act accordingly.

3. Keep Patients Informed

No one likes to be kept waiting. Many times, patients are at the doctor under duress anyway. They aren’t feeling well and they don’t want to be there, and many have had to take time off of work or school in order to see you. To have a doctor who is running late on top of that makes the waiting room a powder keg waiting to blow, full of irritated and unhappy patients in an atmosphere that is the opposite of serene. 

via Unsplash

In order to create an appealing medical practice that patients don’t mind visiting, you need to keep patients informed of realistic timelines. When delays happen despite your best efforts, let your patients know right away. Most patients will be understanding if they have some idea of how long the delay will be, even if they are a bit frustrated at having to face a delay at all. Still, a provider who keeps their patient informed is ahead of a provider who doesn’t. 

Whether or not your patients want to see a doctor, the goal is that they’re happy they came to see you. By staffing your office with friendly and professional people, keeping a clean and calm waiting room that promotes an atmosphere of wellness, and keeping patients informed of any delays, you can make sure that your patients actually do come to their follow-ups, inform you or your staff of any issues they’re having, and provide positive feedback.