Waiting is tough. Sitting in a hospital waiting room for news about a medical diagnosis, surgical outcome, or other potentially life-altering situations is very difficult. Your healthcare facility must create a waiting area that is pleasant, accommodating, and free from stressors. If you want to improve the waiting experience at your hospital, here are “must have” items to have in it.
In a recent survey, 60% of the people surveyed said WiFi in the waiting room helps ease the frustration of long wait times. Set up a system separate from the internal internet access used by the staff. You can post the login information for the public system in the waiting room or set it up where no login information is required.
Free WiFi prevents people from worrying about the data caps on their phone plan or poor cellular service. Instead, they are free to scroll through Facebook, text with friends and family, or watch a movie.
Device Charging Stations
Device charging stations in the waiting room allow the public to charge their devices while they wait. The charging stations feature USB ports and plug outlets to accommodate Apple devices, Android devices, and laptops.
Public charging stations do not appeal to everyone, however. Some view public charging stations as a potential security risk compared to a wall outlet. So make sure the waiting room has charging stations and traditional electrical outlets.
Children’s Play Area
A children’s play area entertains young people and helps prevent them from running around the rest of the waiting room. Try to stock the play area at your facility with various stuffed animals, board games, books, and other kid-friendly toys. If a separate waiting room for children is not possible, place a colorful rug to identify the boundaries of the play area.
Remember when waiting rooms were full of hard, plastic chairs? Thankfully, those chairs are gone for the most part. Provide comfortable, supportive places for visitors to sit. Besides comfortable chairs, consider large loveseats and couches so people can stretch out. Use removable covers for easy cleaning.
Don’t force stressed-out visitors to make a food run. They will be grateful to have access to foods such as chips, cookies, and other assorted treats. Hydration is crucial, so ensure everyone in the waiting area is hydrated. Remove the water fountain and provide a mini-fridge with complimentary water, fruit juice, and soda.
Create a welcoming environment for your hospital visitors by using warm décor. To accomplish this, combine comfortable furniture, soft lighting, wood accents, and other touches. The idea is to minimize the bright, sterile feel of the waiting room and make it feel more like home.
Monitor the temperature of the waiting area. The typical room temperature is 70 degrees, but you might wish to go a few degrees cooler to keep visitors alert and awake.
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