4 Types Of Waiting Room Furniture Your Patients Will Love
It’s been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your patient waiting room is no different. Its appearance is not only a chance to make a great impression, but it’s also a subconscious indicator to patients and families of the level of care they can expect.
Sound crazy? Well, it’s not.
A 2013 study by The College of Family Physicians of Canada found that the experience a patient has in the waiting room factors heavily into their overall level of satisfaction. NIH and other American research into wait times strongly suggest the physical surrounding impacts the patient’s perception of their hospital visit.
So it’s important that the waiting room is as comfortable, functional, clean and pleasant as possible. Not too much to ask for, is it? Here’s how to make it happen.
Furniture that’s comfortable.
Second only to wait times, comfortability (or lack thereof) was a top complaint from visitors against hospital waiting area furniture. Namely, hospital visitors consider soft yet supportive chair backs and seats with breathable fabric as paramount to achieving maximum comfort. So when deciding which seating is best for your hospital or clinic, be sure your selections have ample support for the spine to prevent backaches and numb feet.
Plush cushions can be quite comfortable; however, too much plush can feel like quicksand to those who may need extra support when getting up. That means seat cushions should have just enough rebound and strong chair arms, particularly on single seat chairs, to make getting up from a seated position easy.
Furniture that’s functional.
Often, whole families will accompany their ill loved ones to the hospital. To accommodate, hospital waiting rooms should offer a variety of seating options for individuals, as well as large and small groups.
With the right furniture, you can create an intimate space and sense of privacy for your patients and their relatives during this stressful time. And since a waiting room is for… well, waiting, loveseats and sofas should be available for those with long wait times or in need of a quick nap.
Don’t forget the tables! Tables are great to hold reading materials, meals and laptops. And those laptops need a place to charge.
So if your waiting room doesn’t already have ample outlets for visitors to plug in devices, there are many comfortable waiting room furniture options that have built-in outlets or USB ports. Providing a way for people to stay connected is a good way to make sure their stay in the waiting room is pleasant.
Furniture that’s clean.
It goes without saying that a hospital waiting room should be clean. Make it easy for staff to do by outfitting your waiting room with furniture made from antimicrobial materials that resists germs and is both durable and easy to clean. The most effective healthcare fabrics for hospitals are generally antimicrobial with a moisture barrier and able to be cleaned with a bleach solution.
Furniture that’s inviting.
Finally, you want your waiting room to be inviting. A cold, imposing, clinical space is neither comforting nor soothing. Choosing frame styles that say living room–rather than waiting room–is a good start. Stay away from metal frames and bright colors, and lean more toward calm colors and patterns with wood frames. This feels more homey to patients and other visitors. These options come in healthcare grades and fabrics, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for cleanliness.
Lighting is also a consideration. Harsh fluorescent lighting is bad for the eyes. In fact, some studies say that it can actually increase the risk of eye disease. Since patients and visitors won’t be staring directly into your lighting for hours at a time (at least we hope not), that’s not as much a factor. However, many people comment that fluorescent lighting causes headaches and increases stress. When possible, introduce as much natural light as possible into your waiting room. Lamps and other ambient lighting can help improve the mood as well.
A hospital waiting room can be both warm and comfortable. By focusing on what people want and need, you can create spaces with furniture your patients and families will love.
Need help choosing the right waiting room furniture for your hospital or clinic? Give us a call at 844-235-3636, or fill out this simple form to schedule a free consultation.