Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs – I am very interested in the design of services, such as visiting the hospital, so I was encouraged to blog about the things I observed.

My boyfriend and I spent the weekend in sunny Devon, with my parents on a family reunion in Exmouth on Saturday. Unfortunately, clumsy Nathan sprained his ankle while playing football with a child and is sidelined in pain for the rest of the day.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

On Sunday we decided to drive to the Minor Injury Unit to check it out. I am very interested in the design of services, such as visiting the hospital, so I was encouraged to blog about the things I observed.

The Northern California Fertility Medical Center

As with many medical visits, we are faced with the ‘shouldn’t’ dilemma of whether this is a serious enough injury to seek professional treatment. I checked the NHS website to help make the decision.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Overall, I was very impressed with the information that was available. I easily found the opening hours, the phone number and the types of injuries they treat. Another surprise was the actual waiting time and the number of patients waiting to be seen. For most services, I expect most things to be digital and I feel they are concerned (usually) that this is not the case. However, for a health service I don’t usually expect digital services, so this surprised me.

The first sentence on the page (after the table with basic information about the facilities) is as follows:

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Eyp: A Page Company

Call before visiting your local Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) to check if this is the most appropriate place to treat your illness or injury.

Thanks to the laws of material design it caught my attention, so I called the unit. The woman on the other end of the phone informed me that it was a walk-in unit and that I did not need to call. I explained that I had been told to call the NHS website first. This seemed surprising and embarrassing and quickly hung up on me. This step seems like a waste of everyone’s time. He was clearly busy, probably interacting with other patients at reception. I felt stupid for calling.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

I brought a pocket full of change, as I expected the hospital to have a paid and displayed car park. As I stood in front of the payment machine out of order, searching for another car park, a kind stranger on the way out offered me his ticket with 2 hours left on it.

Waiting Area Sign For Hospitals, Sku: S2 0278

I’m not sure why we have to pay for parking at hospitals. It could be a way to make money, to prevent local people from using it as a parking place or something for free. Whatever the reason, prepayment does not work well for A&E or other walk-in hospital services. How should you know how old you are? It should be quite common for patients to overpay for their parking and have a ticket that they can pass on to someone else. Car park operators may resent it, but they have been paid for a parking space for a certain period of time, so why does it matter what car is parked there.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

It would be great if there was a way to hand in your parking ticket on your way out (a box next to the parking meter or at the hospital reception?), to pass it on to someone in need.

When we entered the hospital, we followed the signs to the Minor Injuries Unit. As Nathan walked down the corridor, we came upon an unmanned reception desk with the following sign above it:

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Background Panel Signs

For me, it is not clear. He did not clearly state that the desk in front of us was not the main reception. He also did not say where the main reception would be located. We asked a couple in the waiting area, who ordered us back to where we came from.

Under normal circumstances, for fit and healthy people, this will not be a big deal. However, when attending an injury clinic, you are likely to have mobility issues. Better signage when entering the building is a small thing that saves a lot of pain.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Arriving at the main reception, Nathan had to get enough information from the receptionist to register as a patient. It includes names, contact details and four addresses:

Service Designing My Hospital Visit

It is a very slow and painful process. I thought there was a better way to enter this information. Even better is having the self-service option where you can enter that data. This can be in the form of a piece of hardware, such as an iPad or terminal as they need to check in at the GP, or a website that you can access from your own device (of course there must be an alternative still there. for those struggling to serve themselves).

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

After reentering the Minor Injuries Unit, Nathan was immediately called in to answer some initial questions with a healthcare assistant. He gave some of the information he had requested seconds earlier at the main reception desk.

Her computer system had obviously notified her that Nathan had checked into the unit, as she knew he would be called to her desk. It is therefore reasonable that he had access to his earlier answers and therefore did not need to be interviewed again about the injury.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Top Reception Signs

The issue for me is this — asking for duplicate information is a deliberate design decision. Perhaps despite seeing his colleagues’ story about Nathan’s story, he deliberately asked the same questions:

Afterwards, Nathan sat in the waiting area with the other patients. I left the building to send a quick text. In the two minutes I was gone, he was called to the nurses office. I was very surprised to see him immediately.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

When Nathan returned, ten minutes later, he took pain killers and was told to wait to be checked again in half an hour.

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Two signs appear that will tell your patients in priority order. One has more than 50 words, the other has 7 words.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

It tickled me because I thought they wrote the first sign to stop patients complaining that others, who came after them, were seen first. However, due to an ineffective initial signal to stop complaints, they refined it to a shorter version. If this really happened (and not just a figment of my imagination), it’s a great example of iterative content design. It’s a shame they didn’t take down the first poster (more to come…).

A flip chart with 6 arrows pointing in the same direction at the entrance to an X-ray waiting room

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Hospital Digital Signage // Waiting Room And Medical Room Signage // Clevertouch

Now this can be a funny person. However, I imagined that they did this because the patients had a hard time finding the right room. If this is the case, I’m guessing it’s because the ‘official’ sign attached to the ceiling is titled ‘Imaging Department’. It may not be a phrase that patients automatically associate with their X-rays and therefore they ignore it (despite the fact that it says X Ray in the smaller writing below).

Looking at this machine and drawing on my 25 years of drinking water, I would assume that one of these buttons would provide cold water and the other colder water. What confuses me is how I know which button to select.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Blue is a color familiar to water. I don’t feel uncomfortable choosing the blue option to get my water. However, green is not a color I would associate with a drink. Why a lock was chosen for this machine and what the function of this button is, I will never know (unless someone reading this can enlighten me!).

Medical Office Signs, Reception Logo Signs

I found the half hour wait a bit strange. Often when you’re waiting at a walk-in facility, you’re in line with other patients and you don’t know how long it will be until you’re seen. The uncertainty of how long we were waiting and why made me anxious, impatient.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

If others are sharing this experience, then providing live wait times is a technique that can be used to improve people’s experiences. However, if the wait is longer than you were told, how will that make you feel? Will waiting longer than you were told make your experience worse than knowing the original wait time was good? In that case, it might make some sense to keep people in the dark. It would probably also be important to know why you are waiting so long.

Nathan’s pain did not improve with painkillers and an XRay was performed. Then, the nurse and Nathan sit at the computer screen to review the image. I thought this was a great way to build trust because Nathan understood how the nurse made her decisions.

Medical Office Waiting Room Signs

Incoming & Outgoing Mail Signs

Nathan was told

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