Welcoming patients to hospital: a pillar of the patient pathway

Raphael Jatteau


Table of contents

Cocoparks develops and deploys the benchmark solution for intelligent traffic and parking management


Welcoming patients to hospital plays a key role in creating a positive, reassuring experience, and is a strategic issue. It represents the first contact between the patient and the healthcare facility, so it’s crucial to pay special attention to it.

Quality of patient care, a strategic challenge

Entering a hospital is often a source of anxiety, caused by both the illness and the medical environment. Far from being a mere formality, reception is emerging as a major issue, influencing not only the patient’s overall experience but also his or her confidence in the hospital. This human, relational act goes far beyond simple administrative procedures, becoming the first line of care, the first link between the patient, their loved ones and the medical team. The quality of this welcome forges a solid foundation for the future relationship, fostering a climate of trust essential to optimal care, or conversely, it can create a climate of hostility and broken trust. In addition, reception has a strategic dimension, playing a vital role in the customer journey. Efficient reception also means greater efficiency in the hospital’s chain of operations, reducing waiting times and optimizing the use of resources. As the first link in the chain, this contributes to better overall management of the facility. In this sense, a well thought-out welcome is not only an act of kindness, but also a strategic component in ensuring the efficiency and sustainability of the hospital as a whole.

In this article, we explore 4 best practices for creating a warm and reassuring welcome from the moment a patient arrives, while reinforcing the operational efficiency of a facility.

1. Anticipate reception by informing and communicating in advance

The first step is to keep your website up-to-date and user-friendly. It’s the establishment’s virtual showcase, a platform where potential patients can search for crucial information before they even arrive. The regular updating of this online support guarantees that the information is accurate and faithfully reflects the services offered by the hospital, whether medical or practical:

  • Essential information: The website must provide essential information such as emergency telephone numbers, opening hours, and clear indications of the facility’s accessibility. This up-front transparency helps reduce patient anxiety by providing practical details, making it easier for them to prepare for their visit.
  • For example, when it comes to accessibility: highlighting information on accessibility, whether in terms of public transport, parking, or access for people with reduced mobility, is essential. These practical details help patients to plan their journey and anticipate any logistical constraints, enhancing their experience right from the start.

2. Reception staff training

A key element in creating a welcoming and efficient environment is the training of staff dedicated to this crucial mission. This approach goes far beyond administrative skills and requires a set of interpersonal skills to ensure positive interaction with patients:

  • The first step in this training is to develop empathic communication skills. Staff must learn to recognize and respond to patients’ emotional needs, building trust from the very first contact. This training also extends to the management of delicate situations, where staff are prepared to deal sensitively with the concerns of patients or their relatives.
  • A thorough knowledge of administrative procedures is just as crucial. Staff must be able to guide patients effectively through the admission formalities, providing clear explanations and answering any questions. This helps to minimize waiting times and create a seamless experience for the patient.
  • Technology also plays a role in this training, by introducing staff to digital tools that can optimize reception. From managing electronic files to mastering online appointment systems, this training ensures that staff are comfortable with new technologies, improving operational efficiency.
  • Training staff to manage telephone appointments is crucial to ensure empathetic communication, effective planning, and proactive resolution of specific requests and various patient complaints. This competence contributes directly to a positive patient experience and the optimization of hospital operations.

3. Customize your welcome

Personalizing the way patients and visitors are greeted in a hospital environment is based on an attentive and adaptive approach, aimed at understanding and meeting the specific needs of each individual. During this first contact, healthcare staff must be attentive to the patient’s verbal and non-verbal behavior, observing signals such as glances, facial expressions and gestures. This observation provides important information about the patient’s preferences, concerns and needs.

This goes hand in hand with infrastructure, and a design that facilitates all types of audience is also essential. This includes facilities accessible to people with reduced mobility, child-friendly areas, and clear signage to make it easier for patients and visitors to move around the site.

Overall, adapting to the type of patient, whether in terms of age or physical condition, is an important aspect of personalized care. The needs of an elderly patient may differ from those of a younger one, and medical staff must be sensitive to these differences. In addition, the personalization of the patient experience begins at the reception desk, but must not be limited to this first contact, but must continue throughout the patient’s care pathway, effectively transmitting information to the various departments receiving the patient.

4. Optimizing admission processes

Optimizing admission processes in a healthcare facility is a key element in improving the patient experience and reducing potential sources of stress. Long waits and complex procedures can be particularly anxiety-provoking, and the introduction of more efficient methods can significantly improve patient management to optimize hospital operations.

Firstly, the use of advance online forms enables patients to fill in the necessary information before they even arrive at the hospital. This has a number of advantages, including reducing the time spent at the reception desk, and minimizing the errors associated with manual data entry. Patients can complete these forms at their own pace, at home, which allows us to gather more accurate information and make the admission process more efficient right from the start.

In addition, the introduction of electronic appointments for admission procedures means that patient arrivals can be better organized. This avoids long waits and optimizes the use of hospital resources by distributing admissions more evenly throughout the day. Patients can receive automated reminders and useful information before their appointment, contributing to adequate preparation and a more positive experience that maximizes hospital resources in an organized, pre-planned setting.

Also think about your employees’ experience

The staff embody the hospital’s values on a daily basis. Their job satisfaction and commitment contribute directly to a positive patient experience and to the reputation of the facility. By faithfully representing the establishment’s principles, they create a welcoming and reliable environment for patients, while fostering a positive working atmosphere that stimulates collaboration. By recognizing the importance of these employees as ambassadors, healthcare facilities can not only retain their staff, but also attract new talent, strengthening their reputation and long-term success.

By investing in improved patient care, hospitals can not only create a positive experience for individuals, but also enhance their reputation. Effectively managing the inflow and implementing welcoming practices contribute to an atmosphere conducive to healing and patient satisfaction, which is essential for any medical institution committed to providing quality care.


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