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Improve patient experience with background music


The right soundtrack can help patients feel more relaxed, reduce anxiety, and make visits more enjoyable.

violin music | © hayricaliskan - stock.adobe.com

© hayricaliskan - stock.adobe.com

Many people stay with their physicians for years and it’s not uncommon for an entire family to go to the same primary care practitioner for generations. Calming and assured feelings and the certainty that they’ll be well cared for hold significant value in these instances. When trusting someone to help manage their health, patients are looking for a welcoming and comfortable experience that can encourage them to return to your practice for care.

Many medical offices incorporate environmental factors such as soothing colors into waiting room decor to help reduce patient anxiety. Amenities like reading materials, free wi-fi access, and comfortable seating are also nice additions to help patients pass the time as they wait to be called into the exam room. But the right background music plays a key factor in helping to set the tone for your waiting room experience.

Research shows that music has the power to decrease anxiety, reduce stress, relieve pain, and enhance mood. According to an MRC Data report on how U.S. consumers view background music, 66% of patients notice the music in medical practices and 38% believe it’s important for a practice to play music they like. In addition to helping them feel comfortable, calm, and cared for, it’s an added level of privacy – background music can reduce the risk of other patients overhearing private conversations.

The following are key factors to consider when incorporating background music into your medical practice.

Selecting the right soundtrack

Having the ability to customize and manage your playlist on demand is a valuable music service and feature. The right music welcomes and comforts patients while also providing your staff with a peaceful ambiance that reduces stress. However, the song selection must hit the mark for your primary patients.

For example, pediatricians should consider kids’ music, which can help to speed up perceived wait times and keep young patients feeling more comfortable. If your patients are mostly adults, familiar pop music provides an energetic and optimistic atmosphere while classical music offers a calmer, more serene waiting room experience. The soft melodies in classical pieces help lower the blood pressure and anxiety levels of your patients. If your practice sees a variety of age ranges, explicit-free filters are important when playing top 100 and popular hits.

Look for a system that allows you to create playlists, schedule different types of music for different times of the day or adjust the music based on patient demographics in the waiting room. A flexible and user-friendly interface for managing your music library and playlists will make it easier to maintain a variety so your staff doesn’t have to listen to the same songs on repeat, day in and day out.

Be mindful of volume levels

The goal when streaming music in a medical office is to make sure it’s not too loud or too soft. As I previously mentioned, background music can help with privacy but if it’s too loud, it can increase anxiety and make patients feel pressured, distracted, or rushed. When the volume is too low, patients can feel uncomfortable, self-conscious, or even paranoid. We recommend a decibel level of around 60-70 to keep background music noticeable but not too loud or intrusive.

Music licensing and legal considerations

It is essential to comply with music licensing and copyright laws when playing music in your practice. Streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and others are designed for consumer use and cannot legally be used in business settings. Look for a streaming service that’s designed specifically for commercial use – and offers the appropriate licensing – so you can legally entertain your patients and staff while protecting your practice from potential penalties or lawsuits.

In conclusion, routine doctor visits can help patients lead longer and healthier lives. Playing the right background music is a simple way to make their overall experience more comfortable and enjoyable and helps keep them on the path to a healthy lifestyle. It can also help you make the right first impression as you grow your practice.

Ola Sars is the CEO, founder, and chairman of Soundtrack Your Brand, the world’s fastest-growing music platform for businesses. By combining expert curation and world-class technology, Soundtrack Your Brand provides an all-in-one solution for streaming music that’s properly licensed for medical practices, spas, fitness centers, retail stores, and other commercial settings.

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