We all know the struggle of being in a waiting room, trying to pass the time without making too much noise or distracting other patients. If only every medical centre, dental clinic or doctor’s surgery had modern entertainment.
If you’re a receptionist, medical business owner or practice manager, and you’re tired of a dull or dreary waiting room, now is the time to spruce it up and give it the modern edge it really needs. Read on to find out some of our favourite must-have entertainment ideas for waiting rooms in 2021.
Traditional Is Still Good
Traditional entertainment can still be valuable, especially if done right. Here is our advice on how best to incorporate some conventional styles of waiting room entertainment.
If you are going to opt for a television, try something sleek that has a large screen for anyone who struggles with their vision. Likewise, for inclusivity, we’d recommend putting the subtitles on as well for anyone hard of hearing. Ultimately, a common mistake when placing a television in their waiting room is not being inclusive enough or simply choosing an irrelevant channel. No one wants to watch the shopping channel, nor do they want to watch kids shows exclusively. It is a perfect opportunity to provide educational healthcare information or can be a medium for marketing your business services.
Magazines & Books
For magazines and books, a rule of thumb is to keep them somewhat up to date and relevant. A magazine that is a month or two old may still get picked up and read, but something that is over a year old is simply not worth anyone’s time. It’s also best to choose magazines and books of different genres, as not everyone will be interested in reading celebrity gossip. Bookwise, aim to have some classics, and some quirky books that you love, so that if anyone asks what to read, you can genuinely give a recommendation.
If your patients decide to pick up a book, they’ll only have a few minutes to get through it. No matter how fast your wpm reading speed is, you’ll probably only make a dent in the page count. Consider picking up several small storybooks so a patient can happily finish a narrative before their appointment starts. If you want to encourage reading, create a book exchange spot where people can leave old books and pick up ones that pique their interest.
Colouring & Toys For The Kids
For the kids, colouring books and toys are always a winner. Now more than ever, you’ll need to make sure they are easy to clean and are regularly maintained for hygiene, but the classic colouring book trick still gets the kids to sit still and relatively quietly until it’s their turn to be called.
Modern Ideas To Try
If you want to take your patients’ waiting room experience to the next level, try integrating more technology into the experience. Here are some of our favourite up and coming waiting room features.
Fixed (and standalone) tablets are becoming increasingly popular in waiting rooms, and the sheer variety of activities you can offer through a tablet are second to none. Whether it’s a newspaper subscription, a selection of games, or even something for the kids, putting tablets in your waiting room will only enhance your patients’ experience while waiting for their appointment.
Giving your patient’s access to free WiFi is paramount in providing a comfortable and entertaining waiting room experience. That way, they will be able to use their own devices to connect to your network and scroll through their social media, browse the internet or use internet-based messaging services. It’s as simple as setting up a second router and placing a sign that states the WiFi is free. If you’re worried about overuse, you can set up a limit per customer per day.
Charging stations go hand in hand with free WiFi and offer a secondary safety net for those wishing to use their own devices. Being able to charge their device while waiting for an appointment allows a patient to freely use it as they wish to entertain themselves, without worrying about running out of battery. You can fix them on walls or leave them at the reception desk with your staff members. Either way, they’re a good investment into your waiting room entertainment.
Text Message Notifications
This last one may not seem like entertainment, but it allows for a better waiting room experience. Text message notifications are revolutionising the waiting room experience by letting patients know that they are next in line and it’s time to return to the waiting room – if they have ducked out for food, to take a call or any other reason. We assure you that the feedback will be positive!
So, now you know some must-have entertainment for modern waiting rooms, what will you choose for yours? If you are considering giving your entire waiting room or clinic a modern spruce up, give Dentifit a call now and receive a free onsite quote!