Best Music Playlists for Doctors and Medical Offices

Best Music Playlists for Doctors and Medical Offices

As a medical professional or doctor, you understand the need to create a comfortable patient experience. You may have already invested in a warm, welcoming office and waiting room decor with soothing colors to help reduce patient anxiety, seating to accommodate patient comfort and privacy, reading materials to help pass the time, a kid-friendly area to keep children entertained, and free Wi-Fi access with charging stations to keep patients connected to health information. But did you know that music can help set the tone for your waiting room experience and reduce patient anxiety?

Posted on August 2, 2023

The music you play in your medical office can mean the difference between your patients feeling comfortable, calm, and cared for versus their feeling anxious, nervous, or stressed. Research shows that music does amazing things for the human brain and nervous system, complete with the power to decrease anxiety, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, relieve pain, improve sleep quality, and enhance mood. Patients think and feel better with the right music soundtrack playing in the background. However, the extra boost of feel-good chemicals in the brain is just the beginning. 

The right background music can help drown out private conversations happening behind closed doors so that your patients can feel comfortable about their privacy. Background music also sets the tone for your brand experience, sitting at the top of the list of things your patients notice walking into a healthcare facility or medical center. Before we dig deeper into the science and psychology of music for doctors and medical offices, let’s start by answering the question you probably came here for.

What is the best music to play in a doctor's office?

With your unique waiting room atmosphere in mind, think about the purpose of your waiting room, the age range of your patients, and the vibe you want to create. When you play music, everything from music volume to lyrics (or the lack of lyrics) can impact the brand experience inside your medical office or clinic. There are music genres that jive with different waiting room atmospheres to help you play the best music for your unique brand. For example:

  • Pop music for an energetic and optimistic waiting room atmosphere

  • Classical music for something calmer and more serene

  • Smooth jazz for sophisticated style

  • Ambient music for peaceful relaxation

  • Kids’ music for that entertainment factor

Familiar pop music provides an energetic and optimistic atmosphere as opposed to classical music that creates for a calmer, more serene waiting room experience. The soft melodies and absence of lyrics in classical pieces do a better job than lively pop to help lower the blood pressure and anxiety levels of your patients.

Going for a sophisticated and stylish waiting room atmosphere? The smooth sounds of jazz music can help your waiting room feel more luxurious and inviting. Need something a little more relaxing and peaceful? The soft, atmospheric sounds of chill ambient music can help your patients feel more relaxed and at ease. In family friendly waiting rooms filled with both parents and children, entertainment is the goal. Kids’ music can help to speed perceived wait times and keep your young patients feeling more comfortable.

Volume is another element to brand-fit background music for doctors and medical offices. The goal when streaming music in an office or medical facility is to strike the right balance between too loud and too soft. Too high of a music volume increases anxiety, making your patients feel pressured, distracted, or rushed. Too low of a volume reduces personal privacy, making your patients feel uncomfortable, self-conscious, and even paranoid. As a rule, stick with a decibel level of around 60-70 dB for office music to keep your waiting room background music noticeable but not too loud or intrusive.

Lyrics (or lack of lyrics) is another factor when creating the best music playlists for medical offices and clinics and treatment rooms. Research shows that waiting room music with lyrics are more effective at reducing anxiety and boosting mental health and well being than instrumental music. Songs with lyrics can distract your patients from anxious thoughts and give them a sense of social connectedness, creating a positive waiting room experience. Positive, uplifting lyrics can increase feelings of comfort while negative, depressing lyrics can increase feelings of anxiety and stress.

Now that you know the options of music to play in your doctors or medical space, let’s delve into why you should care about brand-fit background music.  

How to use music to drive better patient and staff outcomes?

The right music welcomes and comforts patients with soothing sounds while creating a better work environment for your staff. Nervous or anxious patients can feel relaxed and calm with a shorter perceived wait time, while your staff enjoy a peaceful ambiance that reduces stress. You can even set your brand apart from the other doctors and medical professionals in your niche with a music playlist that takes your patient experience to the next level.    

Think about those crucial minutes before seeing a doctor when patients often feel stressed, worried, or anxious. With the right music playing in the background, your patients can feel more relaxed in the body and more soothed in the mind. Research connects waiting room music to stress-related hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, helping to slow a patient’s breathing, calm their heart rate, and even boost their immune system.

The benefits of great background music even make your job easier as a doctor and medical professional. By putting your patients into a calmer, more rational state of mind, the right music can make them more likely to accept advice, follow treatment instructions, and stay on their prescriptions. Music is shown to create more productive office visits, more satisfied patients, and better health outcomes.

You already know that your patients deserve privacy regarding their medical condition. You also know the challenge of keeping conversations private and confidential inside a waiting room full of people. Background music can help reduce the risk of patients overhearing conversations with other patients and help keep your practice compliant with HIPAA regulations.

Background music in different medical settings.

In a hospital setting, speciality clinics, therapy spaces, or treatment rooms, background music has the power to drive better patient outcomes, even helping to level the stress  of your staff. In a high-stress atmosphere inside emergency rooms and surgery centers, the right music can not only elevate the moods of your staff but also comfort and calm your patients. 

In lower-stress areas such as waiting rooms, gift shops, nurses stations, and hospital rooms, different music genres work better. The right music streaming solution empowers you to separate listening areas and zones so that the different parts of your facility can give off the right vibe for the setting. 

Background music can even elevate the vibe inside a dentist’s office. While the wrong music playlist can feel like pulling teeth, the right one can enhance the patient experience in the waiting room and inside the treatment room. From soothing frayed nerves to decreasing stress, music can influence both your patients and staff. 

Music can also impact the patient experience inside your vet clinic. The right music can reduce perceived wait times, reduce stress, and calm not just pet owners but their furry family companions as well.  You can even brand your office as a pet-friendly space for healing with the right background music.

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