A “Positive” Approach Towards Understanding Patients’ and Staff’s Perceptions of a Clinic Waiting Area
This research was done in collaboration with a healthcare institution. The aim was to examine the perceptions and preferences of visitors and staff with regard to the environmental features of a clinic waiting area.
Interviews were conducted with 50 visitors and 13 staff in a face-to-face mode, pre-pandemic. Despite their different roles, visitors and staff spoke positively about the spacious, open layout that is well-lit. Both groups noticed and appreciated the small design detail on chairs, namely, a groove that permits the hanging of umbrella. Visitors were understandably more concerned about the adequacy and comfort of seating. The two groups also made similar suggestions related to a more user-friendly queue system, easier-to-navigate layout, quieter ambience and the availability of more entertainment offerings including the all-important Wi-Fi.
Both visitors and staff were shown six clinic images and requested to select their favorite one. Both groups favored the images that appear open, bright and spacious, with comfortable seats and greenery. They preferred a cosy, relaxing feel (“not like a hospital”) to a lively, vibrant one.
All the inputs could be incorporated into the planning of any clinic’s environmental aspects of layout, lighting, furniture, sound and amenities.