Physical Magazines in Medical Offices Are a Good, But Outdated Idea – From the Desk of Scott Janney, CEO and Founder of Magazine Jukebox Inc.
As we all get older, we all place a higher priority on annual medical checkups and health screenings. These appointments can lead to referrals and even more appointments clogging up our calendars. I received those referrals and extra appointments after I told my medical provider that, after a short battle with cancer, my father passed away at only 58 years old. My dad taught me many things, but the importance of scheduling and keeping regular health appointments is one of the most crucial principles that he passed on to me. Following this year’s annual checkup, I realized how rare it was for me to see the doctor when I was in my twenties, unless I was trying to get out of work (something that I have since grown out of). I felt generally invincible back then but I know better now and I’m actually looking forward to what my next decade will bring, including my growing family, business, and entering my 40s.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the need to overcome unwanted stress and anxiety while people sit and wait for the doctor, whether that be in the crowded, germ-ridden waiting room or in the plain, sterile examination room. Along with that stress and anxiety, the other things that haven’t changed in the last 20 years are those same waiting rooms and exam rooms. Stress and anxiety has a way of creeping up on you without a way to alleviate them and it causes me to reflect on what research has discovered about stress in the last 20 years. There is a plethora of research out there which shows us that “Stress can make us sick and further complicate existing conditions.” Most would agree that over the past two years of navigating COVID, the stress surrounding waiting in a medical office has likely increased, since we sit with our masks on and look at all of the other stress-filled patients and wonder what illnesses everyone else has brought with them that day.
In those waiting rooms, we may find ourselves looking around at the same chairs, same carpet, and maybe even the same awful wallpaper – you know what I’m talking about! – that patients have been looking at for decades. We may look for something to distract us, but we often land on the same magazine racks and side tables for entertainment, which are now normally empty because of the pandemic. It’s no secret that increased stress and anxiety levels are unhealthy for all of us. In recent years, we have seen an increased focus on mental health, not only on how it impacts us, but we also learned the ways in which taking care of mental health can have a major positive effect on overall health and wellbeing. There is an assortment of practices that can help with our mental wellness: deep breathing, talking to a loved one, engaging in health leisure pursuit, etc. But what leisure activities can we pursue as we sit in a stress-filled waiting room or in a lonely exam room that will actively help take our mind off of our worries?
Research shows that reading magazines for leisure is one of those activities that we can do; it’s something that can be done virtually anywhere. It helps our mental health, but medical offices and centers have taken to removing them from their waiting rooms and there’s little sign that they will be making a comeback because of expense, inconvenience, sanitariness, etc. The medical pamphlets that are all about medical procedures and diagnoses are the only reading material that we find ourselves left with. Personally, I’m not sure reading about those things are going to help with that worrying that we’ve been talking about. In fact, watching a cable news channel or studying up on medical treatments immediately prior to experiencing them only increases that stress.
I know what you’re thinking: a magazine isn’t going to “cure” anything or make difficult conversations with your medical provider any easier, but it can serve as a distraction from the realities around us for a few moments. The truth is, physical magazines in medical offices no longer make sense (and some would argue that they never did). Instead of bringing back those magazines that have piled up on side tables for the last 20 years and gathered germs, – especially the ones that were used by the people who lick their fingers to turn the pages – why not upgrade to a 21st century solution that is clean, secure, convenient, and green? Why not provide readers with a way to resolve the concerns and issues stated above? There’s a platform out there that never requires personal information from users, never requires any downloads, and is accessed directly from each user’s personal smart device. The new digital magazine rack for doctor’s offices meets the needs of those who want to read a magazine for its infotainment and for those who need a distraction from why they are sitting there in the first place. Digital magazines bring a no-touch approach that allows someone to enjoy a good read from the comforts of their own device.
Digital magazines aren’t anything new, but they are always getting better. There’s a saying that I believe is true – “What can go digital will go digital,” –and it’s only becoming more and more relevant as time goes on. What we had planned to take place 5-10 years from 2020 was fast-tracked because of technology and world events. In August of 2020, Magazine Jukebox Inc. (MJB) became the first American-based digital magazine rack for commercial spaces. MJB is a company that can provide a medical office with its own custom displays and geo-fenced QR codes for their location, which allows their guests to enjoy nationally and internationally recognized publications like People, Food & Wine, Health, TIME, and more.
The superpower of MJB is that it doesn’t stop at medical facilities; it is equally as beneficial for a diverse range of commercial businesses. Think about it; wouldn’t it be great to sit at a hotel, resort, car dealership, coffeeshop, nail/hair salon, or other business and read a colorful and entertaining magazine? Magazine Jukebox, Inc. is easy to find and easy to install into your commercial space; as simple as applying a sticker to your window or table for guests to use. Jump online to fill that need at www.NeedMagazines.com. You can even get a free trial if you want to see how we’ll fit into your facility. You can also find us on social media under our main account, @magazinejukebox or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!