It is no secret that the medical profession has had its fair share of challenges in recent years. The cost of healthcare, the need for more doctors and nurses, and a stigma against those who practice medicine contribute to a challenging field. But what if there was a straightforward thing you could do to make your medical practice look more professional? What if many of the items took less than an hour and didn't cost anything? Would you try it?
In this article, we'll cover ways your medical practice can look more professional with just a few minor changes. While these changes may seem small, they add up to significant results when it comes to impressing potential patients and making those who are already patients feel more welcome.
1. The Waiting Room
Make people feel like they've found the right place, and you'll increase your chances of having a patient for life. So, what do most waiting rooms look like? Chances are, they're filled with chairs in neat rows with old magazines on tabletops. What can you do to make your waiting room stand out from the rest? Sit in the waiting room yourself. What do you see? What would make it more comfortable? Here are some suggestions. Put a table with kids' books in one corner. Paint the walls a soothing color of light yellow or green. If you are a small family practice, add a wall with a picture of the staff and their first names—also a family picture of the physician. A family picture lets everyone know that they support a local family, not a big hospital system. If you have long wait times in your office, invest in a TV and play an uncontroversial channel like cooking or decorating. Not only will this brighten up the room and make it feel homier, but it will also keep your patients occupied while they wait. Do NOT place a clock in the room.
2. The Reception Desk
The reception desk is the first thing people see when they walk into medical practice, so if yours looks cluttered or unorganized, it can be an immediate turnoff to potential new patients. A few easy ways to spruce it up include placing a vase of fresh flowers on the counter, adding a small bowl of wrapped mints or gum, and replacing old magazines with some that showcase beautiful homes or places around town. Of course, you should also replace old flyers and flyers from other businesses with a few of your own.
3. The Exam Room
Once people are in your office, they're typically seeing one of two things: equipment or the exam rooms themselves. While it's obvious that patients see your waiting room and reception area, many don't realize how the look of an exam room can make an impression.
Take a walk through your exam rooms, and you'll likely see metal or plastic chairs with faded cushions, floor tiles that are dirty or scratched, an old monitor on the counter, dusty frames, and reading material with outdated information. Products brochures and paperwork littering the counters; this looks unprofessional and cluttered.
If something needs replacing like the chairs or the monitor, then replace it! If pictures and magazines are outdated, replace them! Next, remove all clutter. Look around and make sure all your supplies are organized. Invest in some simple storage containers so that materials are no longer strewn about the room. If they don't absolutely need to be in the room, remove them.
Believe it or not, many potential patients will judge your medical practice based on the appearance of your office. If your office looks outdated, cluttered, and unkempt, what happens? Patients leave and don't look back. Why? It's a lot like going on a first date. They'll have to open up about their medical history, which can be embarrassing for many. They are trusting you with their life. If you can't figure out how to clean and organize your office, how can they expect you to treat them? Take a weekend and use the above tips to transform your office. Better yet, next time you go away on vacation, give your staff a budget and expectations and let them do it. Your staff and patients will thank you.
By: Holly Burkman