ArticleThe Ecology of the Patient Visit Physical Attractiveness, Waiting Times, and Perceived Quality of CareBecker, Franklin PhD; Douglass, Stephanie MSAuthor Information From the Department Design & Environmental Analysis, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Corresponding author: Franklin Becker, PhD, Department Design & Environmental Analysis, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: April 2008 - Volume 31 - Issue 2 - p 128-141 doi: 10.1097/01.JAC.0000314703.34795.44 Buy Metrics Abstract This study examined the relationship between the attractiveness of the physical environment of healthcare facilities and patient perceptions of quality, service, and waiting time through systematic observations and patient satisfaction surveys at 7 outpatient practices at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Findings indicate positive correlations between more attractive environments and higher levels of perceived quality, satisfaction, staff interaction, and reduction of patient anxiety. The comparison of actual observed time and patients' perception of time showed that patients tend to overestimate shorter waiting times and underestimate longer waiting times in both the waiting area and the examination room. Further examinations of the way outpatient-practice environments impact patient and staff perceptions and how those perceptions impact behavior and medical outcomes are suggested. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.