A well-stocked exam room should be a given, and no doubt you have a comprehensive list of the basics you need to have on hand at all times. Exam room supplies are the same just about everywhere: table paper, gloves, hand sanitizer, wound care. But providing an exceptional patient experience goes beyond the basics, and the smallest details can make a huge difference. Here are a few supplies no exam room should be without.
Something to read
Ideally, once your patient makes it to the exam room they won’t have long to wait, but those few minutes can drag by if they are already feeling worried. With nothing to do but stare at a container of cotton balls, nervousness and irritation can set in. A couple of recent magazines in a neat holder are a considerate touch to help them pass the time.
Pillow and blanket
A little bit of comfort goes a long way when you’re not feeling well. A small comfortable pillow with a disposable cover will help patients to rest a little easier. It’s impossible to keep the temperature in your practice perfect for everyone, so a soft blanket will be appreciated by those who feel the chill. Elderly patients, feverish children, and anyone in a paper gown will thank you.
Informed patients have better outcomes, but memory alone can be unreliable, especially in the context of a short appointment where there’s a lot to go over. Pamphlets and print-outs about wound-care regimes, dietary guidelines, contact details for support groups, and other helpful information are a quick and helpful way to make sure patients leave the office with everything they need to manage their care at home.
Offer your patients an easy way to keep everything from their visit together: prescriptions, information sheets, samples, etc. It’s a nice way to ensure that nothing important gets lost. They will appreciate the convenience, and if you use personalized bags, it’s also a great opportunity for branding your practice.
A fun selection of stickers can make the difficult moments of a pediatric visit easier for everyone. Keep a good supply on hand so that little patients can pick their favorites. Super heroes, Disney characters and “I was brave” badges are eternally popular and will ensure kids leave the appointment with a smile.
The next time you make up your exam room supplies list, take a minute to think beyond the usual suspects. A few thoughtful choices can transform the way your patients experience their time with you, making them feel comfortable and well cared for.