Thursday, November 8, 2012

NHBPM Day 7 Redesign a Doctor's Office

This post is a day late. Yesterday, I was purely exhausted from staying up way too late watching the election coverage. Four hours of sleep just isn't enough for me. Yesterday, I didn't do a whole lot of anything and ended up falling asleep about 8 o'clock. Anyway, I'm posting yesterday's topic and taking a pass for today's.

Today's (yesterday's, really) asks us to redesign a doctor's office or hospital room. Thankfully, I haven't spent a whole lot of time around hospital rooms. But, I've been in a lot of doctor's offices. I guess I'll start with the waiting room. Number one one my list would be the seating. Realistically, I know they can't have Lazy Boy recliners, but it seems as if they could work harder at finding comfortable seating. Sometimes I feel like Goldilocks. I'll sit in a seat and it will be way too hard. Then, I'll try another and it will be too soft, swallowing me up and making it almost impossible to climb out of it's clinches. There has to be a decent, not too expensive chair out there somewhere.

I suppose, too, I'd like to see flooring more suitable for the traffic and wear and tear it receives. Maybe some of the wood laminate flooring? That way those of us who need to eat and/or drink more frequently could do so without worrying about possible spills. Look, I know they don't want some kid in there spilling his juice box and animal crackers all over the floor, but if the flooring was more kid and "sick person" friendly it wouldn't matter as much. Another plus to a wood laminate would be the ease with which a wheelchair or scooter could maneuver.

It's nice when there is a TV in the waiting room. More than one is nice depending upon the size of the room. I know that you're never going to find a station that everyone would want to view, but think about your patient population. If you're a pediatrician's office, kid shows, of course, are fine. Some people may not want a TV at all. If the waiting room is big enough, maybe have a quiet corner for them to relax.

A few other things for the waiting room:  Have electrical outlets for people to plug their phones or other electronic devices into. Better yet, provide a few USB chargers for those of us with smart phones that seem to need to be charged continuously. A water fountain or jug of water is a nice touch too. Have a restroom in the waiting room area. Patients shouldn't have to go back into the exam area or hallway to use the restroom. The lighting shouldn't be too harsh in the waiting area or the exam room. Obviously, the doctor will need more lighting for the exam, but let her turn the brighter lights on when she starts the exam. Also, have plenty of suitable reading materials for all sexes and age ranges.

As far as the exam room. Make sure there is enough seating for at least two people. Many patients will have someone with them and they deserve to have seating. Have reading material in the exam room too. Many times, most of a patients time is spent in the exam room. Having something to read sure helps to pass the time. If there's room, a wall mounted TV is nice too.

For the exam,waiting rooms and restrooms, make sure they are clean!! For goodness sake! I have seen some pretty nasty waiting rooms. Dirty floors and dust do not instill confidence in me as far as the doctors abilities. It makes me wonder about their hygiene. Ugh!

 I do think it's worth it for doctors to ask for input from patients when they are redesigning their offices. I'm sure I'm forgetting something glaringly obvious, but I still have the post-election hangover and am not thinking clearly. So, I think I'll close here.

See you all tomorrow.


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