In the clinics I have worked in, the waiting rooms ( or ‘reception rooms’, a better phrase perhaps) have been more intimate affairs. Often there is a lot of conversation between the receptionist and the waiting patients; in the case of patients who have been coming in for a while, sometimes they will know the receptionist quite well. Indeed, in one clinic I worked in, I used sometimes to wait for a few minutes before calling a patient through to the treatment room, to make sure they had a chance to catch up with the receptionist, as it seemed to me that this way in some cases an important part of their visit! Maybe, even, therapeutic!
Of course it might be unrealistic to envision such an intimate atmosphere in a big waiting room full of people, as in the case of the hospital. Nevertheless, it seems important to me that when you go to a place of healing, your whole experience should be conducive to that end, and the atmosphere of the place likewise. Waiting rooms seem sometimes just the opposite, places of creeping dread, an opportunity missed.