Patients' experience in the waiting area will impact their overall experience in your practice. The layout, decoration and ambiance can all impact this. Create a space that is welcoming and calm, and also ensures patient privacy where required.
- Consider a mixture of seating types to allow patients and their relatives to choose what is appropriate for them. For instance, two seater sofas are useful especially for parents with children, whereas chairs with arms are useful for older people who need to use their arms to seat themselves and to rise again. Also consider bariatric chairs.
- Avoid sterile seating arrangements. Instead, create groups of chairs rather than theatre-like rows of seats. Where seats are facing use a minimum distance of 1 meter to ensure accessibility and to minimise infection exposure by spacing patients.
- Allocate approximately 6 chairs per clinical team member
- Allocate approximately 2m2 for each chair
- Configure the reception area, so reception staff members can monitor the waiting area.
- A children's play area acts as a distraction for children and identifies your practice as family friendly, which also helps attract potential patients.
- If providing children’s furniture and play equipment make sure they are washable, safe & durable and not a choking or trip hazard.