Necessary Educational Material or Waiting Room Clutter?

August 1, 2011

I am torn as to how to deal with what seems like an exorbitant amount of just “stuff" [at my practice].

In my waiting room, I have two end tables, a magazine rack and counter space in front of my receptionist’s desk. When I first opened the office two years ago, I had a coffee table book about the history of medicine, some signs about office policies, and a couple of magazines out. 

My tables are now covered with both drug-company-sponsored and non-sponsored reading material, my counter has a drop box for membership in the hospital’s fitness center, and there are signs everywhere for schedules of upcoming educational events here in the office and in nearby venues. And my coffee table book is in the closet now.

I am torn as to how to deal with what seems like an exorbitant amount of just “stuff.” I find a lot of the reading material valuable. There are tear-off sheets about foot care, smoking cessation, and hypoglycemia. There are coupons for meters, meds, and artificial sweeteners. There is information about a community lecture series, diabetes education classes, and exercise classes.

I admit it; I’m a pack rat. It drives my husband crazy. Our kitchen counter is just as covered with “stuff” I can’t part with because, maybe, someday, I will need it.

I’d like the waiting room to look clean and organized, yet I want patients to have access to the pamphlets and coupons, and quite honestly, if I have to hand it to them, I will forget. They are more likely to pick it up if it’s in plain sight. Speaking of picking stuff up, we have also lost a couple of cookbooks clearly labeled “OFFICE COPY -please ask the staff if you would like a copy,” but that’s another issue.

I’d prefer not to put another table or magazine rack out there. Let’s face it - that will get filled up in no time, too. I guess I just need to purge. I welcome any suggestions.

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