Improving Patient Experience with Technology
Improving patient experience through the use of technology is a key way to develop and strengthen your practice’s brand. Patients are shopping for their healthcare providers more than ever before, and implementing technology through the more routine aspects of patient care can help you stand out.
Incorporating features and programs like notification reminders, patient portals, home exercise programs, and telemedicine can drastically improve patient experience. Let’s take a look at some of the ways these technologies can benefit your practice.
4 Technologies for Improving Patient Experience
While paper reminder cards may add a nice branding touch, they often end up lost or go through the laundry. Very few people are able to save them in a way that will be helpful when the time comes around for your appointment. Their usefulness is limited in scope, especially when the next appointment may be as much as 6 months in the future.
Automated notification reminders through text, voicemail or email have a much higher success rate. You can give patients the choice of how they want to be reached, and your reminders will become much more useful.
When a patient calls, they expect a timely response. Nurses and doctors are busy people and it’s not always easy to return patient phone calls. When patients utilize a secure patient portal, communication is simplified.
Patients can easily have their questions answered or gain access to HIPAA-sensitive medical records. When the administrative process becomes more fluid it reflects your practice in a positive light, improving the patient experience.
Home Exercise Programs
Home exercises become part of balanced care for so many medical ailments. When proper exercise techniques are communicated through paper brochures or packets, they are easily lost. Computer-based home exercise programs offer patients a more dependable, easier way to learn the necessary exercises.
Home exercise programs can also reduce the number of patient phone calls, asking for a refresher on the exercises and techniques. The easier it is for patients to access their exercise program, the likelier they are to keep current.
While there are certainly considerations to make before implementing telemedicine inside your practice, it can drastically improve patient experience. When doctors can diagnose using video conferencing technology, it eliminates the need for an in-office appointment.
The time-saving and cost-saving elements of telemedicine are evident. Several states are looking at ways they can make it easier for doctors to practice telemedicine. While it can be a way to cut down on the number of appointments for uncomplicated routine issues, there are certainly cases where in-office care will remain necessary.
Implementing technology can go a long way in modernizing your practice and improving the patient experience. In many cases it can create the differentiation point that will keep patients returning for years to come.
When you implement basic technologies throughout every aspect of your office, you are creating a unique experience and establishing a stronger bond with your patients.
Creating a Therapeutic Environment
For a doctor or dentist, patient care should be at the center of every decision, and that means creating a therapeutic environment. Your office is more than a simple chair and routine medical equipment. It’s a place where patients can initiate the healing process.
A patient may be anxious before or during their appointment. A therapeutic environment has a calming effect, reduces stress, and makes the patient feel comfortable with your care. In order for patients to have a positive experience, make sure you consider the details behind layout and design.
A therapeutic environment:
- Promotes healing
- Supports the needs of the patient and staff
- Provides a measurable impact on patient outcomes
It’s easy to focus in on the big decisions when you are trying to create a patient-centered practice. Your philosophical approach to care, the tools, and the technology are of course important.
Below are some basic factors to consider when it comes to creating a therapeutic environment that will improve your practice’s level of care.
Creating a Therapeutic Environment
Choose the Right Colors
Your room colors and furniture should promote peace and tranquility. Various shades of blue can help you create a calming effect. White walls offer a neutral feel and leave room for some paintings or a bolder color statement with furniture. Pediatricians can use more color in their waiting room, since they are designing with kids in mind.
While the impact of your color choices may not seem overtly important, it can have a lasting subliminal impact on the patient’s frame of mind and overall experience.
Reduce Environmental Stressors
A practice’s waiting room should always be clean and uncluttered. You can offer your patients a variety of reading materials to make their wait more convenient but keep them organized and presentable. It also helps to make sure they aren’t too dated.
If you have a children’s waiting area, make sure that the books and toys are routinely picked up and put away.
Make sure that furniture is routinely dusted, and floors are routinely swept and vacuumed. Other environmental stressors may include a glare from the lights or poor air quality. When these are eliminated, the patient experience can improve. These may seem like the smaller details, but they make a significant difference in patient care.
When you are designing your practice, make sure to factor in acoustics. Noise reduction plays a significant role in creating a therapeutic environment. As a patient, you wouldn’t necessarily want to hear everything occurring in the room next to you – especially if it is playing up any anxiety or fears brought on by your medical condition or the visit.
If sound is already a factor within your office, white noise machines may help. They create a stronger sense of calm amongst your patients, and they can show that you value patient privacy.
Exposure to Nature
Whenever possible you can design your office with a view of nature. Interior or exterior gardens, aquariums and artwork with a natural theme all offer a soothing feel.
Your practice’s reputation and brand are built on creating a positive patient experience. Creating a therapeutic environment plays a significant role. This type of soothing environment can have a positive impact on your staff as well – improving the level of patient care.
If you have any questions or would like to talk about what this means for your practice, contact us today!
What Your Dentist Waiting Room Says About Your Practice
Many patients are anxious leading up to a dental procedure. It stands to reason that your dentist waiting room should be a place where patients can rest and alleviate some of that anxiety before they enter the treatment area.
The waiting room showcases how well you pay attention to detail – and how much you value the entire patient experience. The smallest accommodations make a significant difference. You can use your office’s waiting room to strengthen your patient relationships.
5 Opportunities to Create a Dentist Waiting Room that Conveys the Right Message
Appropriate Wait Times – Your patients value their time. Long waits can lead to poor word of mouth, which can have a damaging impact to your practice in the age of Yelp, Google, and other review sites. Keeping your patients waiting for long amounts of time can negatively impact the relationship before the work even starts.
Even the patients who didn’t have any form of anxiety about their procedure may become a little nervous if given too much time to think about it beforehand.
Wall Art – Artwork is an excellent way to create a soothing environment that can take patients’ minds off their visit. There is more that can be done to take advantage of this space. Your walls can be used to help build trust, and a personal connection with your patients before they set foot into the treatment areas.
You could create a “patient of the month” board. You can use before and after smile photos and talk about the work that was done. You could display photos of your office staff in their personal hobbies. These photos may serve as an excellent conversation starter as the next patient makes their way into the treatment area.
Appropriate TV or Music – If your office specializes in children’s care, a Disney movie or age-appropriate cartoon can help calm kids before their appointment begins. If your office is focused more on adult care, it can help to have a handful of well-known movie staples on repeat.
When a patient mentally connects your office with one of their favorite movies, you win. The same thing goes for music. While elevator music may have a calming effect, a selection of oldies, classic rock, or well-known blues songs may send them out the door humming a song that they love.
Indulgences – A mini fridge stocked with water can make the wait a little more bearable. Coffee, juices, and other drinks also add an excellent touch. What about adding a super-comfortable arm chair, or even a massage chair? Those are the details people will remember upon leaving.
Interior Design – Make sure that the design details contribute to a soothing environment. Every detail involving the wall color, furniture, and artwork should contribute to a professional, relaxing environment.
For instance, blues can have a tranquil, peaceful feel. The couches, chairs, throw pillows, and wall art all offer opportunity for accent color.
You work hard to attract new patients and keep them happy with the experience. Make sure that your dentist waiting room isn’t killing that experience before they ever make it back to the treatment area.
Moving Forward: Modern Medical Office Construction
Medical office construction has changed a lot since we first founded Apex Design Build. As such, modern medical office construction practices are ripe with unique innovations that just wouldn’t have been possible decades ago. Current changes in labor, workflow, design, and culture have all changed the way we think about medical office construction. These new shifts in the status quo have challenged the ways in which we develop, design, and manage healthcare facilities. For example, hospitals now employ more than half of all doctors and surgeons, with numbers continuing to increase. Architects and providers, as well as developers, have had to alter their way of thinking to support the multispecialty of contemporary hospitals and medical offices. Equally, modern medical office construction reflects these changes. In this article, we look at the many innovations modern medical office construction has brought about.
Integrated Technologies for Your Medical Office
Modern medical offices have come to rely on a collaborative care system, with patient-centered medical homes, among other things. Namely, practical technological integrations, which can make patient experience better and physicians’ jobs more efficient. Technologies like desktop computer systems, electronic medical records, wireless networking, are all great examples. In fact, we believe multispecialty medical office buildings require design that optimizes technology for employees while supporting patient needs. Your medical office should have the best of both worlds, if not all of them.
When drawing up your medical office construction plans, we will take into account the features you require, while offering suggestions for additional facilities you may find useful. Similarly, materials, windows, walls, these things are all important but should be selected carefully. Like any integrated technologies, they should enhance the connectivity and functionality of your medical office, not hinder them.
Ease of Motion and Modularity
Your medical office is its own organism, each piece relying on and supporting others to function properly. If one piece fails, it can compromise the entire system. For your medical office, we at Apex Design Build always ensure that modularity and mobility are essential components for your workspace. When planning and constructing the building or office, we find that the best current medical offices have multifunctional exam rooms. Instead of limiting your workspaces to just one specific function, why not make them suitable for multiple uses? This can aid efficiency as well as patient experience in your office. Furthermore, your furnishings should also direct patient traffic with ease.
Think about how you place your furniture, how corridors flow. Is there only one path leading back to the waiting room for both in-patients and out-patients? Or do you require a one-way traffic system that guides patients back to reception while avoiding cramped hallways? Your equipment can also help with ease of motion, such as having certain pieces on wheels, which facilitates and encourages movement.
Green Construction for Your Medical Office
Most Contemporary Medical Office Construction involves some aspect of greenness. At Apex, we source the best materials for your needs that are also safe for the planet. Using green principles of construction, we also aim to save you time and effort, while delivering your custom medical office. Moreover, green construction practices and materials for your medical office will minimize your carbon footprint.
At Apex Design Build, we are always on the lookout for ways to break the mold. We make it our mission to innovate and improve standard medical office construction. We use cutting-edge green construction techniques in our work, with the aim of creating your perfect medical office. At Apex, we are leading the medical office construction and design revolution. Contact us now so that you can join us.
Top Ideas for Waiting Room Design
At Apex Design Build, we work closely with our clients to understand your needs better than you do! There is one element of any medical office that you should not give short shrift. The waiting room. Excellent waiting room design is all that stands between keeping a patient and losing them. Indeed, even small waiting room design can be surprisingly innovative and ergonomic. With Apex, you can rest assured your waiting room will make the right impression. We want to revolutionize medical office design, and the waiting room is the first piece of the jigsaw. Today we offer some expert tips on great waiting room design.
1- Aspects of Your Waiting Room Design
In any waiting room, comfortable seating is essential. Removable aspects like cushions and footstools are always welcome too. When thinking about chairs, it’s wise to invest in a quality piece that will last you a long time and serve your patients well. Tasteful art pieces can also achieve a sophisticated and calming atmosphere. Plants, too, will go a long way to improving the look of your waiting room. They can even improve air quality too. Moreover, space is important, so make the most of it. Dividers and partitions can create semi-private and even entirely private areas for staff, without compromising the flow of the room. They can also be used to efficiently direct patient traffic.
2- Patient Experience
Patient experience is everything. Your waiting room should cater to your clientele’s needs, be them families, private patients, young or old. Facilities to provide beverages are always conducive to a strong patient experience and a good atmosphere. Similarly, books, magazines, toys for children, and other small details can make a good experience a great one. What you also should remember, is that efficiency is integral to the best waiting room design. Placement of furniture, your reception, and the design of your floor space should make navigating your practice a simple experience. Patients want things to go smoothly, and even the smallest problem can seem larger than it is.
3- Small Waiting Room Design
Small waiting rooms can often seem chic and comfortable. They can also appear cramped and uncomfortable. In our experience, the secret to small waiting room design is comfort. But to achieve a comfortable atmosphere, you must maximize space. Select furniture pieces that won’t be too imposing, but can still accommodate a range of patients. Similarly, good Fengshui is essential in small waiting rooms. Position furniture along walls and in corners, leaving plenty of room to get around. Furthermore, lighter colors create the illusion of a larger space (they can also create a calming atmosphere for patients). Mirrors will also achieve the same effect.