Kombucha filled kitchens, comfortable seating, and floating plants are some amenities you may find in a Brooklyn cafe, not a doctor’s office. However, now clinical groups are adding features like this along with on-demand mobile care as a drastic enhancement from the traditional doctor office setting to transform the waiting room and change the way patients feel about seeing their doctor. The key word and effort through this whole initiative is “feel”. These new offices and digital settings aim to make patients feel calm and improve mental and physical wellbeing.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, about 90% of diseases are correlated with social determinants. Social determinants are defined as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Membership based clinics and telehealth programs are now taking the initiative to restructure the traditional healthcare model that only focuses on prescriptions and procedures by providing patients with a preventative care model. An approach where patients and doctors are in consistent communication so that doctors can better understand what exactly could be impacting their patient’s health. This proactive structure aims to build a truly customized experience for each patient based on their social determinants and prioritize their health and wellbeing rather than write off prescriptions every time they come in for a visit.
Even more intriguing than these “calm” offices is the role that telehealth plays in the transformation of the doctor-patient relationship. When patients are able to connect with their doctor through their mobile device and in the comfort of their own home, they are more likely to initiate a preventative consultation and avoid an emergency visit. Patients are most tranquil in their own space and don’t have to deal with an anxious waiting room after taking off work and driving across town. Rather than having a consultation in a cold exam room, patients can opt for one in-bed where they undoubtedly will feel more relaxed which in turn will breed better communication.
Whether it’s a strategically designed office or patient’s own homes, it’s proven that the environment can change the way people feel physically and mentally. When patients feel comfortable, they establish more trust in their relationship with their doctor and in-turn a healthier relationship and better outcomes progress.