Five Tips for a Comfortable Waiting Room

When your patients walk into your practice, what’s the first thing they see besides the reception desk? That’s right, they see the waiting room—a place where they’ll be spending time while waiting for the assistant to call their name.

Waiting rooms are notorious for being uncomfortable, ugly, unwelcoming, or just plain depressing. There are some patients who don’t return to a dental office because the waiting room was uninviting.

If you want to run a successful practice, consider making your waiting room as comfortable and welcoming as possible. Here are a few ways you can do that.

Décor

While fake flora and fauna can save you thousands of dollars per year in costs, fresh flowers and potted indoor plants won’t just provide a calming, welcoming atmosphere, it will also exude a fresh, clean scent that can help eradicate the smells of cleaning supplies.

Include a few well-placed paintings or photographs to add visual appeal to an otherwise sterile environment.

Furniture

It cannot be overstated that comfortable chairs in waiting rooms are absolutely critical to the comfort of your patients. If you wouldn’t sit in the seat in your waiting room for 10 minutes, your patients shouldn’t have to either.

Music

There are many radio stations to choose from, but consider a station or playlist with calming instrumental music. Choose music or an album of nature sounds that can reduce patient nerves and has the potential to relax those who are waiting for their appointment.

Lighting

Recessed lighting is a better bet than lamps because the light comes from above, which makes it easier to for your waiting patients to read or use their mobile devices without much difficulty. Also, consider using LED lighting, which can be dimmed, doesn’t flicker, and can be narrowed or directed at specific areas (like rows of seats). LED lights are environmentally friendly, and can save you thousands of dollars on your lighting costs over their 30-year lifespan.

Reading Materials

What would a waiting room be without the stacks of magazines on the table beside the seats? While many people spend their wait times using their smartphones and reading on their e-readers, there are some who like the feel of paper pages in their hands—these people deserve something other than two-month-old American Dental Association magazines. It may cost you $10 a month, but consider having one of your staff stop by the grocery store once a month for a stack of printed magazines.

A successful dental practice involves more than just a great staff and exceptional service, it also includes a comfortable waiting room with a few little perks that cater to the happiness of its occupants.


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