Becky DeRuyter, OD, says that she always is mindful that the office environment she presents is an important contributing factor to the patient experience, similar to the way patients take in the way she and the staff treat them. “We’ve tried to create a welcoming atmosphere for patients by being friendly, and I’ve always felt that the how the office looks is a part of the friendly vibe,” Dr. DeRuyter says. Dr. DeRuyter has evolved Advanced Eye Health, her independent practice inside the Le Mars, Iowa, Walmart store, over the course of nearly 12 years into the space it is today. “By adding some color and style, we’ve made the office stand out as more professional and welcoming, rather than just a plain white box,” she says. For several years, her office has included a designated children’s area in the reception area for the practice’s youngest patients.
By showing attention to the details, Dr. DeRuyter says it demonstrates the emphasis that the practice has to offer an enjoyable and memorable patient experience. She adds that it also makes the work environment more pleasant for herself and her staff. “We serve coffee and treats to patients and sometimes play background music,” Dr. DeRuyter says. “Patients are often surprised to see this in a Walmart location, and it’s fun to hear their comments.”