It was 3:15pm on a partially cloudy day in Astoria, Oregon when I suddenly heard the sound of the hard crash of the truck, slamming into my car from behind.
I was stopped at a red light when me and my car, Miss Daisy, were propelled like a rocket into the truck in front of us.
I spent the next year in the healing hands of Portland Natural Health.
A Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Physical Therapist, Rolfer and a Naturopathic Physician helped me heal my lower back and neck injuries, and introduced me to the many benefits of holistic medicine.
I became friendly with my docs and practitioners. After all, they spent generous amounts of time with me during each visit (something I wasn’t used to in traditional allopathic medicine practices.)
They cared about my healing, offered compassion and I felt safe.
I wanted to offer something in return to these wonderful, caring professionals and started offering my design services to them.
And so slowly, room by room–including the reception area–I redesigned each practitioner’s treatment room with the selection of new paint colors, new space planning, furnishings, artwork, lighting, rugs and Feng Shui design.
It took almost a year to complete the project while I was in the process of recovery.
The results were astonishing and even surprised me.
Here’s what Dr. Athena Paradise, owner of the clinic, said about the design changes:
“The biggest surprise was after working with Cheryl, our business tripled in volume and in income. I have also received hand written notes from patients who share how much they love and appreciate the new look and feel of our natural health clinic.”
After my experience at Portland Natural Health, I decided to document my healthcare design projects and look at the increase in referral based business after the installment of each new design.
Here’s a peek at what some of my clients have said after I designed their healthcare spaces:
** “The response has been overwhelming. We have seen more than 100 new patients come in since we remodeled, and some patients who were on the fence about trying someone new have been thrilled to be welcomed in our new space when they visit the practice.” —Adam Diesburg, DDS
** “We’re one month into operating in our new space, and the results are better than I could have hoped for. Clients are different. They’re more enthusiastic, engaged, and are working with us and their pets as a part of a team effort. Best of all, 95% of initial consultations turn into followup visits, compared to 40% in the old space.” —Valli Parthasarathy – Phd, DVM | Owner of Synergy Behavior Solutions
** “With the colors Cheryl chose, my sterile, white-walled industrial space was transformed into a calm and peaceful oasis. Now everyone who walks through the front door says, ‘Wow, this space is amazing!’ I opened my doors 6 months ago and my business is now thriving. 50% of my clients are now referred by existing clients, while 85% of my clients are repeat clients.” ––Heather Bergstrom, LAc | Owner | Vitality Acupuncture Clinic
** “In a very non self-promoting way, Cheryl told me color was one of her gifts. If I base all the compliments I’ve had on our colors here in the studio, I have no doubt about that. Cheryl’s work has resulted in visitors saying they have a hard time leaving the studio because it has such a warm, nurturing feel. And I have the pleasure of working in this space every day.” —Michael Roteik | Owner of Yoga Omazing
My big message to you today?
When you redesign your clinic, medical practice or healthcare space with patient-centered tools, you create an experience for your patients and clients that is memorable.
The moment they step foot into your space, their nervous system relaxes and they feel deeply cared for by you.
And when they leave, they remember that feeling and share their experience with friends, family and on social media.
Your referral business grows without you spending a dime on advertising.
A patient-centered design is an investment in the longevity of your compassionate work.
So next time you paint a wall a beautiful, healing color or purchase comfortable seating with bad ass lumbar support, consider it money well spent.
Your work is important and so is your space.