Miami Valley Hospital

5 Ways the Exam Room Can Help Patients Feel Better

The universal issue in exam rooms seems to be the same—-they’re boring and, well, clinical.  And although we don’t want to be discussing health issues with a medical professional in a room that feels chaotic or disorganized, we also don’t want to be stuck sitting in a stark white one either.

Here’s are 5 Integrative Space™ ways to create a more positive patient experience:

  1. Compelling artwork: If there is no window in the exam room, then definitely artwork can provide a connection to nature—-a landscape, seascape, mountains, trees, flowers.  Window or not, the artwork needs to be compelling enough to draw the patient into its story.
  2. Healing color: An Integrative Space will no doubt have a specific color palette that is being used throughout the clinic.  However, in private exam rooms, soft yellow or tan is appropriate.  These colors represent the Earth element, which is one of healing.  But any soothing colors will work.
  3. Connection to nature: Having a window in an exam room may feel like the patient’s privacy is compromised.  However, if a window looks out over a lake or a field of trees or a flower-bed, it can provide a positive experience by connecting the individual to the outside world.  People heal by being in nature, even by looking at it from afar.
  4. Inspirational reading material: If a patient must wait 10-15 minutes for the medical professional, furnish them inspirational reading material.  This could be a coffee-table book or an art magazine—-filled with fine art, photographs, and drawings that inspire and lift the soul.
  5. One door only. The latest exam room layout is to have a door the patient enters on one side of the room and another door the medical personnel enters on the other side. The idea is that those who are caring for the patient are in one hub and can easily confer with one another.  The other perspective is that, from an Integrative Space perspective, the patient is positioned in a “hallway” which will keep them on high alert.  Sometimes efficiency gets in the way of personal attention.

Exam rooms can intensify the patient’s concerns and unrest, not to mention test their endurance if they must wait.  By creating an Integrative Space that engages their spirit as well as their mind, they can begin their journey back to health just by being there.