Getting your Reception Area Right

I have very vivid memories of the reception areas of both my childhood dentist’s and pediatrician’s office.  While the dental receptionist met my fearful gaze behind a glass window, the doctor’s office receptionist kept her area open, but I wouldn’t say it was necessarily more inviting.  Drab, dark, wood-designed walls engulfed the receptionist’s area and helped make an already unpleasant experience become even less inviting.

While a few decades have passed since the time I was visiting my childhood dentist and doctor, I’ve found that many medical office reception areas haven’t changed a bit.  In fact, I once scheduled a dental appointment at a new office and made it no farther than the front door.  When I peered in and saw the hard, dingy green reception chairs and the receptionist’s glass partition, I turned right around and consulted my insurance list for another dentist.  It wasn’t necessarily that the office looked unappealing (although that fact certainly played a role), but the office felt dirty.  And, I don’t want dirt around my mouth.

Reception offices matter.  They matter to patients and they certainly matter to the receptionist her or himself.  In fact, if a receptionist can’t feel comfortable at work, it’s not likely that he or she will be very productive, or very friendly.  Therefore, the reception desk is the first place to start in a reception area.  It should be functional, aesthetically pleasing, ergonomically comfortable, and, of course, inviting.

Similarly, the reception area itself should be welcoming to patients.  Reception furniture, including the office reception chairs, should have a modern look that invites patients into the office and makes them feel comfortable.

Next time you have to head to the doctor or dentist, take a look around.  Notice the reception desk, the office reception chairs, and the general feel of the area.   Don’t you think it matters?

Reception Area

Reception Area

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