2 min read
25 May 2021

The Indian healthcare market is currently growing at a CAGR of 23%, and patients have multiple options to choose from. Apart from the effectiveness of treatment, they judge the service quality on various tangible factors like what they see and feel throughout the entire experience.

One of the key service differentiators is the average waiting time at a medical facility. In India, the average consultation time of an out-patient is two minutes, while the average waiting time is 10 to 30 minutes. Hence a sizeable amount of time in doctor-patient interaction involves waiting before meeting the doctor.

While some lead is expected, long hours of waiting across multiple consulting and diagnostic stages can become excruciating. As a medical practitioner, it might not be possible for you to immediately streamline processes or increase speed and bandwidth to reduce the waiting time, you can certainly consider implementing ideas to reduce the perceived waiting time. While the former might involve a lot of work, you can make the time spent seem less by providing a better waiting room experience.

Here are some suggestions you can consider:

Rework the interiors

Try using warm hues and soft lighting in the waiting areas. This helps reduce stress and offers a light and refreshing feeling. You can also consider improving the seating experience by investing in modular seating systems with improved ergonomic features like movable armrests and customisable seating pads. These generally cost Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 15,000 per unit.

Plan a gradual upgrade for the interiors to increase patient comfort. For the additional investments, consider innovative financing solutions like doctor loans. The flexi facility of these loans allows you to withdraw funds for your renovation needs as you need them and repay them as per your convenience.

Invest in technology

Hospital Management Systems (HMS) are software solutions that help you effectively manage and streamline administrative processes like patient record management, appointment scheduling, reminder setting, etc.

With the involvement of data management systems, you can boost the patient’s experience at the clinic. For example, you can reduce the wait time by providing prior intimation.

Most HMS systems are billed on a per-user basis, and the fee ranges between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 20,000 per user. In the long term, you can finance the monthly outflows towards your HMS with doctor loans of up to Rs. 2 crore designed to meet the needs of medical practitioners.

Activity station

For OPDs, where patients may come with their children (or if children are themselves the patients), setting up activity stations can keep them engrossed. You can also install adult activity stations with interesting reading material. It is also an opportunity to inform them about your service portfolio, procedures and treatments, health tips, and advice for post-procedure recovery.

Privacy matters

Install modifications like acoustic blinds or separators to ensure privacy during the waiting period. Pediatric, geriatric, obstetrics and gynecology patients have special needs and might need a separate waiting space with low noise levels or light in the clinic. Acoustic blinds create a calm and relaxing environment for patients without compromising design and can be installed for Rs. 34,000 a unit and above.


Internet connectivity is like a lifeline, mainly for patients who have loved ones waiting anxiously for news of their wellbeing back home. You can install Wi-Fi routers, signal boosters, and power ports to enhance connectivity.

With these ideas, you can transform the waiting room experience and use it smartly to your advantage.
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