Lounge vs Waiting Room

“Decide to make a difference, and success will find you.” – Jon Gordon

What’s the difference between a waiting room and a world-class lounge? A waiting room is simply that, a place to wait. While a lounge evokes a sense of comfort – a place that offers a premium spa-like experience, a place promotes a positive patient experience. How do you create high-performing, high-impact lounges that contribute to the patient experience? Let’s start with this list!

  1. Five Star Hotel Hospitality

    The key is to look at the hospitality industry, see how hotel lobbies are laid out, finished, and provided for. Comfy chairs, mood lighting, luxurious finishes, tasteful art, this is a complete 180 from what patients expect. It will be a high-impact surprise that is bound to make a lasting impression to your clients. Make note though that comfort changes depending on your area and your audience. What may work in New York may not be as effective in other places like Arizona so be carefully attuned to your client’s preferences and to your COMMUNITY.

  2. Welcome Amenities

    Now that you look the part, why not set the mood further back and offer refreshments while your clients make themselves comfortable in your lounge. This shows tremendous consideration for your clients and is a subtle, non-verbal way to say that you think of them and that they matter. A beverage station will be a nice touch that enjoins your client to sit back and take their minds off their worries. Offer them water, tea, or coffee. There are also automated machines that offer café-style drinks on-demand at the press of a button.

    Design Tip: Consider built-in beverage stations that can be flushed within the walls or cabinets for a clean and cohesive design.

  3. Bring in nature

    The biophilic design integrates the healing wonders of nature into the built environment. Whether bringing natural light in, colors, textures, and even physical plants in the interiors, bring in touches of nature into your lounge or even further into the rest of the medical interiors. This can have significant effects that improve patient wellbeing and outcomes.

    Design Tip: Consider getting plants that can survive the lounge’s available lighting for easier care and maintenance. Built-in planters can also be integrated into your furniture itself for a polished look. Fight the urge to use artificial plants, instead look for easy-care, low-light, indoor plants like fiddle leaf figs so they will thrive even with the least attention.

  4. Hidden Storage

    Out of sight, out of mind as they say. A cluttered lounge is not consistent with a relaxing environment. Clutter is a real mood killer and can at a time even drag down a practice’s efficiency.

    Design Tip:
    Consider building hidden storage into the walls where the doors can be made to look like wall paneling to make them inconspicuous. It’s a great way also to make the interiors look more refined and carefully considered.

  5. Swivel-mounted Monitors

    On the topic of clutter, also consider mechanisms that will allow you the flexibility to move equipment to a less obtrusive position when not in use. Monitors in the reception desks or even anywhere where you need a bulky screen can be placed on swiveling wall mounts that can be pulled out when in use and pushed back to lay flat against the wall when done.

  6. Retail

    Finally, a lounge can help drive more revenue for the practice if you have a well-positioned and curated alcove for retail. A built-in niche will be more streamlined and will be easier to integrate into the interiors. Consider the positioning, it should not be too obvious nor should it be tucked away where it cannot be seen. It should be well lit and be focused on the item itself. Separate the inventory from the display. Let the product be shown at its best. Style your retail displays so that it will be attractive, properly labeled, and accessible for sampling if possible.

It’s clear that between waiting rooms and lounges, lounges present more benefits for your practice, and the ways that we have laid out here are steps to get the most out of them. Lounges are a step-up, a way where waiting rooms are brought to levels beyond patients’ expectations. Follow these tips on how you can make your lounge better and build a Medical environment that works to build a positive patient experience just as hard as you do. Are you ready to elevate your practice? Give us a call at (310) 359-1200 or drop a consultation request here.

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Our primary motivation is to heal the world through our designs. We know environments have an immense impact on our well-being. Our goal is to share knowledge and understanding of how interior design impacts how we feel.

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