|Healthcare trend watch: How to put a little “spa” in the hospitalPicture this: You walk into a room and are immediately greeted by the scent of a relaxing candle, the sound of soothing music and the sight of warm, welcoming lighting. You proceed to an oversized, form-fitting foam chair and relax back, only to turn on your favorite program on a nearby flat-screen TV.|
No, you’re not at a local day spa, awaiting a massage or facial. You’re at Miami’s newly opened kidneySPA – a facility dedicated to providing a revolutionary approach to dialysis treatment for patients. Not only do its visitors receive exceptional care, but the facility is also stocked with the latest, most technologically advanced equipment and an array of qualified health providers.The idea of putting a little “spa” into a hospital or clinical setting is catching wind all across the nation. It’s all about making patients more comfortable and, in turn, increasing positive word-of-mouth referrals. Since we know not all healthcare facilities can start from scratch with building a more spa-like facility, or complete even a modest renovation project, we’ve come up with seven surefire ways for your healthcare organization to make patients feel more at home:
- Soothing sips – When patients first enter the waiting area, have your team offer them a relaxing beverage such as chai tea, a cappuccino or basil lemonade. The change-up from the usual cold water out of a fountain will be greatly appreciated. Consider serving it in an insulated Travel Tumbler, so they can take it when them when they leave, paired with a logo’d Beverage Napkin to prevent any spill damage to furniture or carpeting.
- Harmonious hues – Striving to put a little “spa” into your facility can easily be achieved by adding some color to the usual whites and grays. Paint can go a long way in creating the relaxing vibe you’re looking for, so consider lacquering the walls of your waiting area, exam rooms and bathrooms with calming colors like sage green, lavender, sky blue or light yellow.
- Cool the clutter – Medical exam rooms are often filled with a variety of technical equipment and loads of necessary supplies. Although you likely can‘t move these items elsewhere, you can neatly organize or successfully disguise their appearance to make the room seem less intimidating. Use colorful totes to keep everything in order and cloth covers over large machines to keep a tranquil, relaxing vibe going. After the exam is through, send patients off with any paperwork neatly organized in a Padfolio, and a handy Daily Push-up Pill Dispenser to keep medication in order. This will show you commitment to their stress relief, while simultaneously showcasing your logo for months to come!
- Easy on the ears – When creating a relaxing atmosphere, remember the effect sound can have on a patient’s complete experience. Battle the usual noise of employee chatter, ill patients or whirring medical equipment with calming sounds like rhythmic drumming, vibraphone or flute songs, rain and ocean melodies or wind chime music. All of these sounds have a comforting, calming effect and can be purchased on compilation CD’s at a local bookstore or music shop. Give patients a choice of preferred music when entering a private room to help them remain calm while waiting to see a healthcare provider.
- Fleeting fluorescents – Fluorescent light can affect an individual’s first (or second, or third …) impression of an organization. Although it may be necessary in some areas, try swapping out these high-brights for warmer, more subtle lighting where possible. Softer lighting from deco lamps will give your patients and customers an immediate feeling of “home.”
- Successful scents – Indulge the sense of smell by using aromatherapy techniques around your facility. Air fresheners, reed diffusers and candles in calming scents of lavender, vanilla, ginger, lemon, chamomile and sandalwood will do the trick! Keep the calming effect going long after patients have left by sending them off with a relaxing gift to thank them for their visit. Our favorite logo’d “scent-ual” picks? Dial-A-Scent Air Freshener and Eucalyptus and Spearmint-scented Stress Relief Lotion. Be sure to keep some areas scent-free for those who battle allergies.
- Serene staff – Finally, nothing says warmth and inviting more than a friendly, genuine welcome. Be sure all coworkers are well-versed in your organization’s customer service policies and are committed to fulfilling them ten-fold. A helpful receptionist or caring provider can go miles in making a patient feel more comfortable. Clinical settings can be daunting to many, so a little extra attention in this department can go a long way.
In healthcare, you already understand that quality patient care is #1, so consider going the extra mile by adding a little “spa” to your organization’s ambiance. Not only will it aid in patient retention and positive recommendations, but all the tranquility will also have an effect on your internal team – a definite plus during any hectic day!