Engage the Senses to Enhance the Patient Experience

Consumers expect quality, results, and a great experience when choosing how to spend their time and money, and today’s aesthetic patient is no different when selecting a provider to meet their needs. In a previous blog, we discussed the role your staff plays in providing the ultimate patient experience. Today I invite you to think outside the box and engage the patient’s senses.

There are 5 traditionally recognized senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Most practices focus on sight, but successful businesses understand the need to engage all five senses to optimize the patient experience.

I’ve included a few ‘best practice’ ideas I have encountered in practices and medspas over the years here:


  • The reception area should be inviting and welcoming as soon as the patient enters. Whether the decor has a residential feel (think plants, throw rugs, lamps, and comfortable furniture), or a more modern and sleek approach, the patient should be visually captivated.
  • Magazines and other reading material should be relevant to your target audience (i.e. if you see mostly females you probably do not need 12 issues of a hunting magazine as part of your reading arsenal).
  • Add a Testimonials book to a table in the reception area so patients can read the wonderful feedback your practice has received.
  • Attention to cleanliness is paramount in all areas of the practice. Staff members should circulate the premises often throughout the day to make sure there is no trash or clutter lying about.
  • If the practice has no natural light or windows, consider white (not colored!) plant lights, or soft lighting from lamps. Avoid harsh fluorescent lights if possible in the reception area.
  • Attention to detail in the exam room will elevate the patient’s perception of the practice. Elegant mirrors add a special touch as they will be a focal point to ‘frame’ the patient when discussing potential procedure options. Cloth hangers or wicker baskets can be used for the patient’s clothing.
  • All patient forms and collateral can be presented in leather menus for an elevated experience.


  • Relaxing music throughout the office. This does not have to be an expensive overhead stereo system. It could be something as simple as a Bluetooth speaker in each room playing music from a designated source.
  • Attention to staff conversations. The patient is always listening and does not need to overhear conversations about the disagreement a staff member had with their significant other, or the difficult patient that was seen earlier in the day.
  • Attention to practice-patient conversations. Can other patients hear conversations through the exam room walls? If yes, consider a noise machine, music, or in-room TV monitor to drown out private conversations.
  • Water features are proven to be relaxing and inviting and can also be used as a noise blocker. Consider small individual features throughout the office.


  • Room temperature – is your office too warm? Too cool?
  • Robes and blankets should be soft to the touch. Consider investing in a small blanket warmer and provide patients with a toasty robe to wear during the consultation & exam.
  • Ensure all items the patient will touch are cleaned throughout the day. This includes door handles, the coffee station, and even pens.


  • Beverage station to include coffee, flavored water, or tea.
  • Individually wrapped candies or cookies.


  • Should be pleasant but not overwhelming.
  • Robes and blankets should not smell like perfume from a previous patient (trust me, this seems like common sense but I’ve witnessed this more times than I care to remember).
  • No offensive smelling food allowed in the break room! This means no fish, brussel sprouts, or burnt popcorn.
  • Candles are always a nice touch, especially when used in the restrooms.


Take the patient on a journey of their senses with your practice. What does your practice do to envoke the senses? I would love to hear!


To Your Success!

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