Alleviate Exam Room Anxiety With These Positive Distractions
Yesterday, I had an extended waiting period inside of a doctor’s exam room. While I sat patiently waiting, it gave me a chance to look around in what amounted to a window-less closet. The room featured empty walls, vinyl chairs and metal tables giving off the impression of being cold and impersonal. No one likes being at the doctor’s office and most people are already filled with exam room anxiety, so having a room just as depressing, did not leave me with a good feeling.
Despite the transformation of medical practice over the course of the 20th century, the basic doctor’s office has changed very little since WWII. And why is that? Patients will take in a clinic’s surroundings to gather clues about the quality of care they will receive. Because of this, there should be a better emphasis placed on creating an attractive, inviting environment that conveys a message of comfort and wellness rather than sterility and illness.
The cost of an exam room space can be high so it’s understandable that its design is limited however it’s important to consider patient comfort as the number one goal. A pleasant and friendly exam room filled with comfortable medical furniture makes a big difference when retaining patients and staff. Plus, it’s easier to have a discussion about patient health when they feel more at ease and able to concentrate on what is being discussed.
In addition to having the right medical furniture, providing positive distractions in the room will divert attention away from the stress of being there and create calm and confidence in both patient and staff. Try adding these positive distractions the next time you have an exam room redesign:
Exam rooms look less foreboding when decorated with textured wall coverings, posters or artwork. Choose artwork that features realistic images of natural landscapes, healthy flowers and foliage during warm weather. Sweeping views of mountains and serene water surfaces can create a sense of calm. Avoid abstract artwork as it can actually increase anxiety.
Color and Texture
Colors and textures play and important role in creating atmosphere. Soft tones will tend to fade from the eyes and help a room appear larger. A larger room is less claustrophobic and more comforting putting the patient in a calmer state. Avoid darker colors, which provides the opposite affect.
There is nothing worse than hearing the doctor talk to a pharmaceutical rep or nurse outside your door. Even worse is when you can actually hear a conversation between the doctor and patient coming from the next room. Talk about doctor patient confidentiality violation! Soundproofing your exam room is paramount. Voices carry from room to room a lot easier than one would think. Providing privacy and masking noise will provide better patient confidentiality.
Having access to natural light is huge! Natural light will give patients the feeling of a healthy environment. Natural light or indirect light is preferable to fluorescent lighting which can make colors appear washed out and can even make the healthy look sick.
At ROSI Office Systems, we offer exam room furniture to make patients comfortable. Likewise, we also offer an array of supplies and storage options that help physicians perform at their best. In addition to exam room furniture, ROSI Office Systems also carries healthcare reception or patient room furniture. Let us help you alleviate exam room anxiety with a new office design! To learn more about how we can help your medical facility, contact us today for a free consultation.