Recently highlighted in Fast Company’s design blog, Co.design, was a case study from Spanish design consultancy Fuelfor entitled “Rethinking the waiting room”. The study was based on the research-supported idea that a well-designed waiting room can boost patient opinions of the care they received and generally make the overall trip to the doctor’s more pleasant. Here are a few of their design recommendations:
· Comfortable seating seems like a no-brainer, but too many current waiting spaces are cramped and cluttered, and don’t offer the proper privacy desired by a family waiting on a loved one. Sound barriers, movable armrests and cushions, and planters can make a waiting room a more pleasant place to be.
· Improving the queue process is suggested as well. Posting wait times in multiple areas, or utilizing long-range buzzers or mobile phone applications allows a patient to move around in the waiting space without worrying about missing their name being called. The ability to wait where you want, in the waiting room, the hallway, even a hospital courtyard, is important for a patient’s peace of mind.
· Other simple fixes can help a waiting room become more inviting. Healthy food offerings, in the place of your typical vending machines, will reinforce the doctor’s message. Additionally, welcoming signage, that introduces the doctors on duty that day or announces classes available or tips for the day, can be a great source of information for a patient and their family.
Do you have any ideas for additional waiting room improvements?