Friday, December 14, 2007

Lull or languish?: challenge

First I must apologize for not posting anything last week. I had some last minute consulting work that absolutely had to get done by the end of the day. I also had another reason for not posting, one that brings me this week's topic, which is that I have not had a case to post in the past couple of weeks. It is too soon to tell whether this is the beginning of a trend, or whether the holidays are coming and the snow is piling up and people have their minds on other things. It is probably a bit of both.

In any case it will soon be time to promote the service again, to both staff and patients/families.

Promotion is a tricky thing. You don't want to overload people with email reminders and fliers and posters and so on because you risk having them tune out and basically ignore the message. On the other hand you don't want to be completely passive about it, quietly hoping that people with remember you exist.

We had already decided that I would make up a brochure for the service which I could then hand out to people in the waiting room, and place strategically around the clinic. Now the thought is that we also need to make the space more welcoming. Right now it looks like an office and when people come in it is usually to apologetically capture a straying child, because they think I am someone else, or because they need a telephone. Only very rarely has someone come in to browse the pamphlets or ask a health information related question.

The first step has been to improve signage. I made an unfortunate mistake when I ordered our sign. See if you can spot it:**

Mistakes are often opportunities in disguise. Our new sign will not only have a correct title, it will also have a large red arrow pointing to the entrance and an invitation to drop in and ask questions.

In addition to the new sign, on my list so far are:
  • A smaller, less obtrusive, desk for me
  • A name plate for my desk
  • Posters for the walls
  • A comfortable chair (or two, depending on space)
  • More shelves for pamphlets
  • More pamphlets
  • A computer for patients to use (part of our original plan for the room and already ordered)
The filing cabinet can be moved away from the door further opening up the space.

Hopefully the combination of promotion and space redesign will increase use of the service in the new year. I will keep readers updated.

** The word "health" was left out of the English title, completely altering the sense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Francesca,

This is very cool. What a great project and I love the set up and the way it came to be. Thanks, too for posting the pictures of the space. I can't wait to follow your progress and hear about how the services are recieved
Happy Holidays- pilgrimtinker